If you are arrested for Driving while Intoxicated in Harris County, Texas and are interested in the District Attorney’s Office DIVERT Program, the following will happen:
1. The District Attorney’s Office will evaluate your case. This means that if the District Attorney’s Office finds that you are legally entitled to be in this country and that you have no prior convictions, you may be eligible for the DIVERT Program.
2. If the District Attorney’s Office states that you may be eligible for the DIVERT Program, then a meeting with a Harris County Probation Officer will be scheduled.
3. You will have to arrive at least an hour before the meeting time, because you will be asked to take a drug and alcohol evaluation and pay a $202 fee. The interview with the Probation Officer lasts only about 15 minutes, but it is in your best interest to have an attorney present in the meeting. After meeting with the probation officer, you will be asked to submit to a urine test. If you fail the test, you will more than likely be disqualified from the DIVERT Program.
4. You will probably find out whether you have been accepted into the DIVERT Program before the next court date.
5. If you are accepted into the Program, then you will have to enter into a Contract with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office where you agree to, among other things, have Ignition Interlock installed in your car, attend a DIVERT Program orientation session, perform a specific amount of community service hours, report to your probation officer on a monthly basis, and not commit any crimes, excluding fine-only traffic violations. The DIVERT Program can last between 1 year – 2 years, but you will be told about the exact duration of the Program before signing the contract.
6. After you, your attorney, and the prosecutor in your court signs the contract, then you will go before the Judge and give your plea of guilty. If you fail to meet the conditions of the contract, the Judge may decide to take the plea of guilty you have already given and order you to go to jail and pay a fine. He has the discretion, however, to place you on probation if he decides to do so.
7. If you successfully complete the DIVERT Program, then your case will be dismissed.
8. You may be eligible for an expunction 2 years after the dismissal of your case as long as you do not commit any crimes, excluding fine-only traffic violations.