What is the Tarrant County Domestic Violence Diversion Program?
The Tarrant County Domestic Violence Diversion Program is a 12-month, pre-trial program for first-time defendants charged with misdemeanor family violence. The intensive program is focused on treatment and rehabilitation, rather than incarceration, and is a way to potentially avoid a conviction and criminal record. Notably, the alleged victim must sign off on the defendant’s participation in the program.
If you or a loved one is interested in the Tarrant County Domestic Violence Diversion Program, and believe you meet the criteria outlined in this article, contact an experienced attorney to walk you through the process. The program is not easy and it’s not for everyone.
Who is Eligible for the Domestic Violence Diversion Program?
Not everyone accused of domestic violence is eligible for the Domestic Violence Diversion Program. To qualify for the program, certain specific criteria must be met:
- The offense for which you are accused must involve partner-on-partner violence (misdemeanor);
- You must not have any current or prior violations of a protective order;
- There must not be any allegations of stalking;
- You must not have any active warrants for your arrest;
- You must have no other pending charges;
- You must have no prior history of diversion;
- You must be committed to completing the program; and
- You must have the consent of the victim to participate in the program
What’s the Procedure for the Domestic Violence Diversion Program?
In addition to having the victim’s consent, the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office must also recommend you for the program. Getting the DA’s approval usually will require the assistance of your attorney who will contact the prosecutor on your case and discuss why you would be a good candidate. After acceptance, the following procedures will be followed:
- The defendant must enroll in the program at the first consultation docket.
- The defendant will be assessed for appropriate programs.
- The victim must sign a consent form for the defendant to participate in the Domestic Violence Diversion Program.
- The defendant enters a plea of guilty to Assault (Family Violence) and the Judge recesses the hearing for one year.
- The defendant completes the diversion program as a condition of bond.
- Once the defendant successfully completes the program, the defendant is allowed to withdraw the plea of guilty and the judge dismisses the case.
What are the Domestic Violence Program Guidelines?
As mentioned, the year-long program is intensive. Participants are under court supervision the entire time and will be required to:
- Report in person to the case manager once a week during first 30 days.
- Maintain a minimum of two (2) contacts per month for the remainder of the program. (Reporting requirements are determined by the participant’s compliance)
- Complete all treatment and counseling as recommended
- Attend a progress review with the court as directed, but at least once during the 12-month program.
- Pay a supervision fee of $60 a month while participating in the program.
What Happens if I Violate a Condition of the Program?
If you violated any condition of the program, you can be discharged from the program. The court can find you guilty and sentence you accordingly, including time in jail.
Contact our Tarrant County Family Violence Defense Attorneys
The attorneys at Varghese Summersett have handled thousands of family violence cases through the years – first as prosecutors and now as highly-regarded defense attorneys. We have the experience, skills and knowledge to produce exceptional results for our clients. Many of our clients have had their cases dismissed after completing the Tarrant County Domestic Violence Diversion program. For more information on how we can help you, call our team today for a free consultation.