Pretrial Intervention Program for Retail Theft

The Retail Theft Pretrial Intervention Program has some requirements and several steps that our clients need to do

Today I helped a client enter the Retail Theft Pretrial Intervention Program here in Harris County.  I wanted to expand on this retail theft program in case anyone is interested in participating.  This program is only for individuals who are first time offenders who are caught shoplifting from a retailer.  You are NOT ELIGIBLE, if you are:

  1. Charged with Theft, and the property is valued at over $750
  2. Charged with Theft, and the property was not recovered
  3. Charged with Theft, and you owe the victim some sort of restitution
  4. Charged with “Theft by Employee”

Steps for Pretrial Intervention Program for Retail Theft

Step 1 is the initial court appearance.  During this time the chief prosecutor screens the defendant for eligibility.  The defense counsel is given a referral form and a sample agreement to go over with defendant.  At that point everyone reads and signs the referral form.  Once everyone is on the same page the attorney gets a reset date for 100 days from the court date (to allow defendant to complete the program).  After court the defendant is required to go directly to the Harris County Community Supervision and Corrections Department Central Assessment Unit at 49 San Jacinto on the 3rd floor to receive more instructions.

Step 2 is the Harris County Community Supervision and Corrections Department Intake.  As I previously mentioned, the defendant must appear for intake immediately after court on the same day they are referred.  The defendant reviews the agreement with HCCSCD staff and signs the agreement.  Defendant is given an invoice and instructions on submitting payment for the program.  The payment of $130 is also paid at 49 San Jacinto on the 3rd floor.  The defendant will have 2 weeks to submit proof of payment to the HCCSCD Retail Theft Intervention Program Coordinator.  If someone does not have the funds to pay, they can be assessed for indigence at this time.

Step 3 is the HCCSCD Agreement.  Defendant is placed on a 90 day program with the following conditions:

  1. Defendant is to complete an 8 hour cognitive skills class (in addition to the $130 fee)
  2. Defendant must not break the law again during this time

The defendant is signed up for the cognitive skills class upon submission of payment.  Defendant must sign in and attend the full 8 hours in order to receive credit for the cognitive skills class.

Step 4 is the good part: The dismissal!

The retail theft case will be dismissed off docket upon proof of successful completion of the program requirements at the expiration of the 90 days.

Eric Benavides
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Eric Benavides

Criminal Defense Attorney at Benavides & Serrano
Eric Benavides is a Houston Criminal Defense Attorny and immigration lawyer.He is one of the co-founders of Benavides and Serrano.He is a member of the Harris County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, Houston Young Lawyers Association, and is licensed to practice law in the state by the Supreme Court of Texas and federally by the Southern District of Texas.
Eric Benavides
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