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DWI Pre-Trial Diversion in Travis County

If you’ve been charged with a first-time DWI conviction, then you may be eligible for what is known as a pre-trial diversion program. These programs allow you to avoid trial by agreeing to certain terms.

In the following article, we’ll go more in-depth for what pre-trial diversion programs entail and the process of receiving one.

Austin Pre-Trial Diversion Attorney

If you’ve just been charged with a first-time DWI, you need a lawyer. The Law Office of Kevin Bennett is prepared to fight your charges – and to tell you about the first-time DWI pre-trial diversion program in Travis County. If you qualify, Kevin Bennett will walk you through the process, file the necessary paperwork and, if all goes well, see the charge dismissed after the diversion period.

Contact Kevin Bennett today at (512) 476-4626 to ask about pre-trial diversion programs in Travis County.

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What is a Pre-Trial Diversion Program?

Simply put, pre-trial diversion programs (PDPs) allow you to complete some form of alternative punishment to jail time. PDPs are settled before you go to trial. DWI PDPs are a relatively new program from Travis County.

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What Does a PDP Look Like?

PDPs vary on a case-by-case basis, but the majority of first-time DWI offenders granted a PDP can expect a variation on the following for a 12-month period:

  1. Use an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) for 6 months OR a Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor (SCRAM) device, also known as a portable alcohol monitor
  2. Complete a victim impact panel
  3. Refrain from getting arrested again
  4. Complete a Counseling and Education Services assessment from Travis County
  5. Complete 25 hours of community service

PDPs are a lot of work. You cannot drink (or abuse any other substance) over the 12 month period, and you cannot get arrested again. For some people, it may be easier to just fight the claim. PDPs can also be expensive. You are responsible for renting the portable alcohol monitor or the ignition interlock device, and paying for the CES assessment.

The upside is that PDPs are a guaranteed way to see a dismissal of charges at the end of the program.

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How Much Does a PDP Cost?

Your specific program will vary based on the market cost of materials. However, both the IID and Portable Alcohol Monitor cost about $90 a month, and $50 for removal. You will also need to pay $10 a month for IID monitoring.

This comes out to about $600 total for the IID or SCRAM. There is also a $55 fee for the CES assessment. This is an overall cost of about $655 over the 12-month period.

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Qualifying for a PDP

If your case meets certain criteria and is unfiled, then you are eligible for an automatic review by the district.  Unfiled cases must be:

  1. A Class B Misdemeanor
  2. Not include a collision or a crash
  3. Be a first-time DWI
  4. Have a BAC under 0.20

The district automatically reviews these cases to provide relief for the county judicial system and provide non-punitive relief to offenders such as substance abuse prevention programs and more.

Currently, pending or filed cases follow the same set of criteria. There is little to no substantive difference between the two.

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What Are the Alternatives to a PDP?

If a PDP does not seem like the right option for you, it is also possible to fight the original DWI charges in court. The case will proceed as normal and your attorney will fight the DWI claim moving forward. However, if you lose the case, you will be liable for punishment under Texas law.

However, if you do decide to apply for a PDP, then your attorney will help guide you through the process, completing the application and filing the necessary paperwork for you.

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Additional Resources

Travis County PDP Resources – Read the official rules for a PDP in Travis County, as well as who to contact to get one started yourself. The rules are simple, but making a mistake on the paperwork can mean refusal or additional charges.

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Hire a PDP Attorney in Austin, Texas

The Law Office of Kevin Bennett provides quality legal representation to individuals facing DWI charges in Sunset Valley, Austin, Travis County, Rollingwood, Pflugerville, Lago Vista, Lakeway and the surrounding areas.

Call (512) 476-4626 so that Kevin Bennett can begin developing your defense strategy as soon as possible.

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