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COLLIN COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S DIVERSION PROGRAM GUIDELINES
The following sets forth the policy, procedure, and minimum eligibility requirements for obtaining the District Attorney’s approval for the entry of an offender into the Collin County District Attorney’s Diversion Program (“Diversion Program”) supervised by the Collin County Community Supervision and Corrections Division. To be eligible, the offender must freely admit guilt, be willing to complete all of the terms of the Diversion Program (the Agreement & the Conditions Form), and refrain from any further criminal activity.
1. MISSION STATEMENT
Justice takes many forms, and while the Collin County District Attorney zealously prosecutes violent and habitual offenders, we are also committed to re-imagining the traditional role of a prosecutor and the system we represent. The mission of the Diversion Program is preventing crime and increasing public safety by holding an eligible offender accountable while providing the resources, skills, community-relationship building, and education needed to break the cycle of crime. The program is an alternative to prosecution that offers an offender a chance to avoid a criminal conviction and other punitive sanctions, including fines, probation, and incarceration.
2. WHAT IS DIVERSION?
The Diversion Program is a voluntary program for an offender charged with a criminal offense. Pursuant to Government Code Sec. 76.011, offenders who complete the program may avoid prosecution and potential conviction for their charge. The Diversion Program only accepts certain types of criminal offenses, and each referral must go through an assessment prior to being accepted into the program. Once accepted into the program, a contract will list the specific requirements and obligations for each offender.
3. OFFENDER PROFILE
The Diversion Program accepts referrals from law enforcement and prosecutors from within Collin County. Denial of admission to the Diversion Program will not be based on race, gender, sexual preference, economic status, disability, or inability to pay program fees.
The Diversion Program does not accept referrals for violent crimes, domestic violence, sexual-offender-related crimes, or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) or related offenses. Exceptions may be approved by the Diversion Prosecutor.
Applications for entry into the Diversion Program must be submitted through the District Attorney’s website within 30 calendar days of the date an attorney is hired or appointed or within 30 calendar days of the first appearance, whichever is later. Application details can be found here.
5. PAST ADULT OFFENSE HISTORY
The offender should have no prior adult felony convictions and no prior convictions for violent misdemeanors. Arrest history, as well as final disposition of charges, will be reviewed and considered. Exceptions may be approved by the Diversion Prosecutor.
6. PAST JUVENILE OFFENSE HISTORY
If an offender is twenty-five (25) years old or less and possesses a juvenile record of criminal offenses indicative of disregard for criminal laws, the offender may be disqualified for entry into the Diversion Program based on this record. Exceptions may be approved by the Diversion Prosecutor.
The criminal offense for which the offender has been arrested or charged must be a non-violent criminal offense. The District Attorney may preclude entry into the Diversion Program for any reason, including the circumstances of the offense.
Charges potentially eligible for the Diversion Program include, but are not limited to:
- Burglary (non-habitation)
- Burglary tools possession
- Drug possession, including obtaining by fraud, forged prescription
- Fraud (e.g., forgery, credit/financial device use/possession)
- Criminal Mischief
- Tampering with evidence or Tampering with a Governmental Record
In exceptional circumstances, other offenses may be considered for the Diversion Program after review and approval by the Diversion Prosecutor.
8. RESTITUTION REQUIRED
If a person or persons suffered monetary loss as a direct result of the commission of the offense for which the offender was arrested/charged, the offender must be ready, willing, and able to make full restitution, and such restitution shall be a specific condition of the offender’s entry into the Diversion Program. Amendments to the restitution payment timeline may be granted by the Diversion Prosecutor.
9. WAIVER OF RIGHTS REQUIRED
If an offender desires to be considered for entry into the Program, upon applying for entry into the Program and prior to any further processing of such application, the offender must voluntarily, knowingly, and intelligently execute a document stating that he/she has been fully advised of his/her Constitutional Rights, including, but not limited to, the right to remain silent regarding the facts and circumstances related to the offense for which the offender has been arrested/charged. This document must also state that the offender has waived the right to a Speedy Trial on the said offense for the period of time required for a final decision regarding the Application. In the event the offender is accepted into the Diversion Program, the offender waives his/her right to a Speedy Trial until the offender is terminated from the program, whether satisfactorily or unsatisfactorily. The offender’s attorney shall be required to confirm that he/she has also advised the offender of these same rights.
10. SWORN STATEMENT REQUIRED
Upon applying for entry into the Diversion Program and prior to any further processing of such application, the offender must voluntarily, knowingly, and intelligently execute a signed and sworn typed statement relating the facts and circumstance of the offense for which the offender has been arrested/charged. The application will be rejected if, in the sole discretion of the District Attorney, the offender’s factual statement is not consistent with guilt.
If the offender is not accepted into the Diversion Program, for any reason, the provided statement will not be used as evidence against the offender in the State’s case in the event of trial on these charges; however, if there is a trial on these charges and the offender testifies, the statement MAY be used as rebuttal evidence for purposes of impeachment.
If the offender is accepted into the Diversion Program and is subsequently unsatisfactorily terminated from the Program, this statement MAY be used as evidence in the State’s case, if there is a trial on the charge for which the offender applied for entry into the Diversion Program.
11. CONTRACT ITEMS
Every offender accepted into the Diversion Program is required to sign the Diversion Agreement and the Diversion Conditions Form. These documents include both mandatory items for all offenders, and “offense specific” items which are designed to help the offender overcome issues that led to the criminal offense and to expand their life skills to help them be successful, non-offending adult members of the community. Offenders are responsible for ALL costs associated with any contract items.
- Mandatory Contract Items
- No further criminal violations
- Truthfully answer all questions asked by Probation Officers
- Report all contact with police/law enforcement within 24 hours
- No weapons possession
- Remain in Texas; travel permit required to leave
- Pay all court costs, fines, restitution, and Probation Supervision
- Maintain steady, full-time employment (part-time with approval)
- Community Service Work
- Alcohol and Drug Evaluation
- Breathalyzer Call-Ins
- No drug use – monitored scans
- Drug/alcohol treatment as determined
- Mental Health Evaluation and/or Treatment, as determined
- Drive only with Valid Driver’s License and Insurance
- Offense Specific Contract Items (determined individually for each offender):
- No alcohol use
- Random alcohol and/or drug use monitoring, frequency determined by substance use history
- Drug or alcohol treatment, from peer support to outpatient to inpatient, depending on history
- Mental health treatment, from outpatient to inpatient, depending on history and mental health evaluation
- Domestic Violence Treatment, including possible group and individual treatment, as determined by Domestic Violence Offender Management Board standards
- Theft Class
- Anger Management Classes
- Ethics Class
- Moral Reconation Therapy
- Victim Empathy Class
- Life Skills Contract Items (determined individually for each offender):
- Parenting Classes
- Budget Classes
- Texas Workforce Development Counseling
- GED/HS Diploma/Vocational Training
- Collin College Skills and Aptitude Assessments and courses related to the results of those assessments
- Meetings with Mentor
- Meetings with Small Group Circles
- Conflict Resolution Class
- Stress Management/Assertiveness/Self-Esteem Class
12. SPECIAL CONDITIONS FOR COMPLETION
If in the opinion of the Diversion Prosecutor or Probation Officer, the offender is in need of special counseling, mentoring, classes, therapy, or services, the offender must agree to participate in such programs as a specific condition of his/her satisfactory completion of the Diversion Program. This may include requiring the offender to attend self-improvement courses or programming. If the offender is not willing to accept these conditions, the offender will not be able to successfully complete the Diversion Program.
13. PROCEDURE FOR DIVERSION PROGRAM
- Offender meets above requirements and completes the application.
- If tentatively accepted, the offender signs the Diversion Agreement admitting guilt.
- The offender is then placed on diversion for 12 months for misdemeanor offenses and 24 months for felony offenses.
- The offender completes screening tests with the Collin County Community Supervision and Corrections Department.
- If applicable, the offender takes skills, aptitude, and interests screening assessments at Collin College.
- The offender will pay a monthly supervision fee of $50, pay any restitution, pay the program fee of $500, pay for any drug or alcohol testing, pay for any classes or programs that are part of the supervision plan, and comply with the attached rules of community supervision.
- At the end of the program, the criminal history of the offender is reviewed to determine if there have been any additional arrests. If there are no new arrests, if all probation rules have been followed, and if the supervision plan has been completed, the case is dismissed.
- The offender is eligible to apply for an expunction after dismissal.