We were recently asked by a friend the following question: I entered into a pre-trial diversion program for my DWI, can I remove that from my record? The short answer is: yes, usually you can but please read the message below to get a better understanding of what the Program is and why you are allowed to apply for an Expunction under that program. A pre-trial diversion or intervention program is a type of probationary period that some counties offer. I is a lot like getting put on regular probation, however, unlike probation, if successfully completed, the case will be dismissed. You will also appreciate that you don’t have to report to a probation officer once a month like on regular or deferred adjudication probation. You might have heard that term “deferred adjudication” before so don’t confuse that with a “deferred prosecution”, “pre-trial diversion”, or “intervention” program. The diversion program (consider this term for deferred prosecution and intervention programs too) is designed so you never enter the criminal justice system. Or if you are already in the system, you are taken out of the official system and offered a way to stay out of it.
A diversion program allows for you to enter into an agreement with the prosecuting attorney for the state in the County where you were arrested. Typically, you agree to do certain things and avoid certain things for a set period of time within the statute of limitations for the crime you are accused of. For DWI arrests the goal is to allow you to avoid a DWI conviction while assuring the prosecutor that you will not continue to drink and drive in the future. It is embarrassing for the prosecutor to allow you into this program and then get arrested for another DWI later on. You will be asked to do things that will help you avoid that subsequent arrest.
Many times the State wants you to get an evaluation to make sure you do not have an alcohol or drug problem. If the evaluation recommends that you take classes or counseling then that would be part of the agreement. You will be required to not get arrested during the period of the agreement, usually one year but for a more complicated situation it could be 18 months to a year period of time. The facts of your case will determine the exact terms of your agreement along with things like, what is the policy of that prosecutor, your prior criminal history and is MADD against the program, to list a few issues.
In most counties, it is possible to remove a pre-trial diversion or pre-trial intervention program from your record once successfully completed. Although some Counties require you to waive you right to expunge the arrest record as part of the agreement. That is why should hire a firm like ours that understands these programs and gives you the information to make the right choice in the matter. You should also Expunge the record of your arrest to protect your good name for the future. An expunction is the procedural step in erasing your record completely. The experienced attorneys at our offices can handle the expunction for you. Once filed, an expunction is set for a hearing and can be challenged by DPS, the County Attorney’s office, the District Attorney’s office or any agency involved in your arrest and pre-trial diversion program. That is another reason to hire our firm, we know ahead of time whether they will object or go along with your desire to expunge the matter. The trickiest part about expunging the records from a pretrial diversion or intervention program is if there is any opposition to your expunction. If the prosecutor agrees to the expunction order, then it makes it much easier for you to get rid of that record.
It becomes much more of a challenge if the prosecutor challenges the expunction for various reasons and you have a contested hearing. You really need to hire our office to fight this battle for you. We are available to answer your questions 24/7 at 210-394-3833 and 512-278-0935