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Divert/Pretrial Diversion

A driving while intoxicated conviction can uproot your entire life. The criminal consequences include thousands of dollars in fines and even time behind bars. This doesn’t even include collateral consequences to your job, education, family and future goals.

Thankfully, you might have other options. Texas offers divert or pre-trial diversion programs for struggling DWI offenders. The program serves as an alternative to jail time and upon completion you’ll be able to have your charges dismissed. After the appropriate amount of time has passed you can choose to expunge your charges completely. No employer or licensing agency will be able to pull up your DWI charges.

If you or someone you know has been charged with DWI, it’s crucial you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Lawyer for DWI Diversion Program in Houston, Texas

Texas has some of the most stringent laws for DWI. A conviction doesn’t only result in jail or prison time, but can lead to community service, fines, DWI school and more. The cost of a DWI both socially and financially are enormous. This is why it’s imperative you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. is a group of skilled attorneys who have a strong focus in DWI law. We have successfully practiced in Texas criminal court for years. Our attorneys can collect evidence, file motions and do whatever is necessary to defend your rights. Call today at (713) 224-5529 for a free consultation.

Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. accept clients throughout the greater Harris County area including Houston, Bellaire, River Oaks, Tomball and West University Place.

Overview of Texas DWI Diversion Program


What is a DWI Diversion Program in Texas?

In 2017, the National highway Safety and Administration Association (NHTSA) reported 16,794 people were involved in an alcohol-related accident. To fight this ongoing issue, Texas has implemented diversion or pre-trial diversion programs to rehabilitate DWI offenders. The diversion program is a type of probation and serves as an alternative to incarceration.

You’ll be required to pay for the program cost yourself and you must follow their guidelines. If you successfully complete the program, then you’ll be able to have your case dismissed. Violating the rules of the diversion program may result in you facing the full statutory penalties for your DWI.

To begin DWI court program you must:

  • Complete a substance abuse evaluation;
  • Refer to any substance abuse treatment, education, housing or mental services if it’s needed in your case;
  • Have the ability to pay for the treatment; and
  • Have paid the fees required to participate in the program

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Harris County DWI Diversion Program Requirements

Unfortunately, not everyone is eligible for DWI diversion programs in Texas. You must qualify to participate in a DWI diversion program. If you wish to participate in DWI diversion in Harris County, then you must meet the following requirements:

  • You live or work in Harris County, Texas;
  • You’re on community supervision for a misdemeanor DWI; and
  • You’ve agreed to a 2-year community supervision term.

You can also qualify for Harris County DWI court if you:

  • Are on community supervision for a subsequent DWI and are considered high risk by one of the following factors:
    • High BAC of .15 or more on your second DWI;
    • Have a history of substance abuse;
    • Shown use of alcohol or drugs while on probation; or
    • Have exhibited a high risk of re-offending

OR

  • Had a misdemeanor DWI within two years of your first offense and:
    • You were 17-24 years old during the DWI; or
    • You weren’t considered to be high risk

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How Long is the DWI Diversion Program in Harris County, Texas?

DWI diversion or pre-trial diversion programs are typically completed in two years. You’ll be required to undergo intake and assessments to analyze your chemical dependency. This will include a required substance abuse or alcohol evaluation at the beginning of the program.

Listed below are the different phases of the DWI divert program in Harris County, Texas.

Phase I (minimum of 8 weeks long)

  • Minimum 12 hours of group substance abuse counseling per month;
  • One hour of individual substance counseling per month;
  • Show up to court twice monthly;
  • Participate in 12 step meetings and get a sponsor;
  • Install an ignition interlock device to your motor vehicle

Phase II (minimum of 12 weeks long)

  • Complete the DWI offender course;
  • Comply with random drug and alcohol screenings;
  • Show up to court twice monthly;
  • Participate in 12 step meetings;
  • Minimum of 5 hours of substance abuse group counseling per week;
  • If necessary, participate in non-substance abuse treatment

Phase III (minimum of 24 weeks long)

  • Comply with random drug and alcohol screenings;
  • Appear in court once a month;
  • Participate in 12 step meetings;
  • Minimum of 2 hours of substance abuse group counseling per week;
  • If necessary, participate in non-substance abuse treatment

Phase IV (minimum of 12 months long)

  • Attend aftercare and supportive services as assigned.

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Additional Resources

S.O.B.E.R. – Visit the official website of Harris County courts to learn more about their DWI diversion program S.O.B.E.R. (it stands for Saving Ourselves by Education and Recovery). Access the site to learn more about the program description, who runs the program and their eligibility requirements.

Ten Guiding Principles – Visit a document provided by Harris County courts to learn more about the Ten Guiding Principles to their DWI program. Access the document to learn how they approach first-time DWI offenders, multiple DWI offenders and underaged offenders.


Attorney for DWI Diversion Program in Harris County, Texas

If you or someone you know has been charged with DWI, it’s crucial you gain skilled legal representation. You could qualify for DWI diversion court and avoid jail or prison time. If you’re eligible, you could have your charges dismissed once the program is finished.

Contact Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. today for a case evaluation. Our attorneys are skilled in DWI defense with years of experience. We have advocated DWI diversion programs for many our clients with success. Contact us today at (713) 224-5529 to speak to an experienced attorney.

The attorneys at Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. represent people throughout the greater Houston area including Bellaire, Tomball, Pasadena and River Oaks.



This article was last updated on March 7th, 2019.

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