Harris County has a relatively new Pre-Trial Intervention Program (PTIP) for individuals charged with a first DWI. A similar program, the DIVERT program, no longer exists, and the PTIP is now taking its place. It is similar to DIVERT, but it is much harder to get into the program. (Not all judges allow entry)
Pre-Trial Intervention Program Eligibility
To be eligible you must:
- Be charged with DWI in Harris County Texas
- This must be your first arrest of your adult life
If you have ever been arrested for any crime at all, even if the case was dismissed, you are more than likely not going to be accepted into the program. That does not seem fair at all, but at this point, that is how things are working. Juvenile convictions/arrests are ok, as long as you disclose those on your application for the program.
Factors to being rejected from PTI Program
Other things that could cause you to be rejected from the program (on a case by case, judge by judge, basis) are:
- A breath or blood test of over .15
- Getting into a traffic accident as part of the DWI
- Not having a valid license at the time of the DWI
- Not having insurance at the time of the DWI
If you are eligible for the DWI PTIP, you will have to pay $202 to be interviewed and do a SALCE (Substance Abuse Life Circumstance Evaluation) test, which is a test that predicts your alcohol and drug risk level as a part of the program.
You will also have to pay a “DA Fee” of $130 and possibly submit to a drug test. Finally, you must include a letter discussing the night of your DWI, and accepting responsibility. After all of that, if you are accepted into the program, a contract is drawn up by the District Attorney’s office for you to fill out with your attorney.
Contract with the District Attorney
Typical contract terms include:
- 1 year program
- Community service
- Monthly fees
- Monthly meetings
- Random drug tests
- Ignition interlock device
- DWI education class
Other items such as AA classes/counseling/drug treatment can be added as recommended based on the SALCE exam, and the circumstances surrounding the case. After the contract is filled out, you go before the judge, and the judge enters you into the program. You meet with the probation officer of the court, attend an orientation that same week, and start your monthly meetings the following month.
The case is reset for 1 year, and if you successfully complete all of the terms and conditions of the program, the case is dismissed on your next court date. However, if you do not comply with the terms and conditions, the program can be terminated at any time, and your case continues as if there was never an agreement.
For more information about the Harris County DWI Pre-Trial Intervention Program, please contact us today for a free consultation.
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