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Pre-trial diversion

State possession law allows counties to set up diversion programs for people charged with crimes involving the use or possession of drugs, including marijuana. The state health code also requires any county with a population of more than 200,000 to establish a drug court program to send some drug offenders to treatment instead of jail. And, judges are required to give probation, or community supervision, in some drug possession cases.

Drug Court in Dallas County

The Dallas County Drug Court program, also known as DIVERT (Diversion and Expedited Rehabilitation and Treatment) targets alleged felony offenders eligible for pre-trial release that have been charged with the following offenses:

  • Possession of a Controlled Substance (less than one gram),
  • Possession of Marijuana (more than 4 ounces, but less than five pounds), and
  • Obtaining a Controlled Substance by Fraud (Prescription pill fraud or doctor shopping).

Individuals who have allegedly committed a delivery or manufacture of controlled substance offense, DWI offenders, offenders who have a history of assault, and individuals who have committed previous criminal offenses are not eligible for the DIVERT program.

The DIVERT program is generally three phases long and is about 12 to 18 months long. Individuals enrolled in the program go through substance abuse education, participation in education and employment services, in addition to an orientation and stabilization phase, intensive treatment phase, and a transition and graduation phase.

If the alleged offender successfully completes the program, their case will be dismissed. However, if the alleged offender fails to successfully complete the program, their case will be presented for prosecution.

Judge Creuzot in Dallas says. "We just don't throw people in jail," he says. In fact, long jail stints can be self-defeating-Creuzot says most research shows that jail terms longer than about five days for drug court offenders can be harmful-isolating someone who needs support."


Program Eval

Subpages (1): Collin County