Are you under age 24? Is this your first – and hopefully last – arrest? Are you interested in avoiding a conviction and removing the arrest from your record? If so, the Tarrant County Deferred Prosecution Program could be the opportunity you are looking for.
The Deferred Prosecution Program, or DPP, was created by the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office decades ago to give young, first-time offenders a chance at rehabilitation and having their case dismissed, thereby avoiding the stigma and consequences of a criminal conviction.
The DPP process begins by hiring an attorney who will guide you through the application process. Those who are accepted into the program and successfully complete it, will have their pending charges dismissed and are eligible for an immediate expunction. Common offenses that are eligible for the DPP program are possession of marijuana and shoplifting.
As former Tarrant County prosecutors, we’ve been on the other side of the DPP process and vetted and interviewed candidates who applied to the program. Now as defense attorneys, we are extremely successful in getting our clients into DPP. However, the most important factor in the admission process is you and your commitment to rehabilitating yourself and successfully completing the program.
Applicants must must be between 17 to 24 at the time of their offense. They must hire an attorney and apply for the program within 60 days of their case being filed. There are no exceptions.
The DPP application is obtained by their attorney. The applicant must then completely fill out the application, provide two letters of recommendation, provide a personal statement, transcripts, and a negative drug test administered by the Community Supervision and Corrections Department (CSCD) of Tarrant County.
Drug testing will be performed by CSCD at the following locations (first come, first served):
DPP consists of two tracks. Track A is the traditional track, which consists of an application, background investigation, orientation interview and an agreement to abide by the conditions of the program. Track B is for offenders with marijuana and substance abuse charges. It consists of an application, background investigation, orientation, agreement to abide by the conditions of the program, as well as drug testing. Here’s a list of eligible offenses for the Track A and Track B programs.
The Tarrant County Deferred Prosecution program is not for everyone. You are not eligible for the program if you meet any of the following criteria:
The applicant must attend an orientation before being accepted into DPP. The applicant must be accompanied by a parent or an adult accountability partner. The remainder of the program fee must be paid in full at the conclusion of the orientation. The waivers completed and signed by applicant and defense attorney must be presented at the beginning of the orientation.
The term of supervision is four months for misdemeanor offenses and eight months for felony offenses. If restitution is owed, the term of supervision can be extended to eight months to allow full payment.
Upon successful completion of the program, the offender is entitled to an immediate expunction.
To successfully complete DPP, participants will be required to follow a number of conditions, including:
If you violate a condition of the deferred prosecution program, you could be terminated from the program and the trial court will be notified to set your case and it will be prosecuted like any other case in the criminal justice system.
Successful completion of DPP will result in a dismissal of your criminal charge which can be ultimately expunged. The program is also the most inexpensive of Tarrant County’s deferred prosecution programs.
You must have an attorney to get into the Tarrant County Deferred Prosecution Program. All of the senior attorneys at our firm are former Tarrant County Assistant District Attorneys. As former prosecutors, we know exactly what it takes to get through the application and interview process. If you want to find out how you can maximize your chances of getting into the program, call Varghese Summersett PLLC at (817) 203-2220. If you have questions for the program administrators to check on the status of your application or to see if your monthly report has made it to the office, call the Deferred Prosecution Program at (817) 884-1633.