Everything You Need to Know About Pretrial Diversion Program Costs

Everything You Need to Know About Pretrial Diversion Program Costs

Understanding the Costs of Pretrial Diversion Programs in Texas

If you’re seeking straightforward information on pretrial diversion program cost, you’ve come to the right place. Pretrial diversion programs in Texas offer an alternative to the traditional criminal justice process, potentially saving defendants from a conviction while addressing the behavior that led to their arrest. These programs, however, come with their own set of costs which can vary based on several factors including the county, the specific requirements of the program, and administrative fees.

  • Application Fees: Costs incurred during the application process.
  • Program Fees: Regular payments for program maintenance.
  • Counseling and Classes: Expenses related to mandatory participation in counseling or educational classes.
  • Monitoring Costs: Fees for electronic monitoring or regular drug testing if required.

Pretrial diversion can be a beneficial opportunity, allowing individuals to avoid a criminal record while undertaking constructive measures to improve their behavior. The financial aspect of these programs in Texas typically revolves around fees for participation, which could include counseling services, monitoring, and administrative costs set by the county. Under Tex. Code Crim. Proc. art. 102.0121, the maximum reimbursement fee collected can be up to $500, directly supporting the county’s expenses related to the intervention program.

Infographic describing the usual costs associated with pretrial diversion programs in Texas, including application fees, program participation fees, counseling fees, and monitoring costs. - pretrial diversion program cost infographic pillar-4-steps

Understanding Pretrial Diversion Programs in Texas

Pretrial diversion programs offer a significant opportunity for first-time and non-violent offenders to avoid the traditional criminal justice process and its consequences. Here’s a straightforward look at what these programs are and why they matter.

What is Pretrial Diversion?

In Texas, pretrial diversion is a legal option that pauses the usual criminal prosecution process. Instead of going through a trial, eligible participants complete specific requirements set by the court. These might include counseling, community service, or education programs aimed at rehabilitation.

The idea is simple: address the behavior that led to the crime, reduce the chance of reoffending, and thereby benefit both the individual and the community.

Importance of Pretrial Diversion

The importance of pretrial diversion programs cannot be overstated. They provide a second chance for individuals who might otherwise be marked by a single mistake for the rest of their lives. By focusing on rehabilitation rather than punishment, these programs help maintain employment, education, and family stability, which are critical for a cohesive society.

Texas Government Code Sec. 76.011

The legal backbone for pretrial diversion programs in Texas can be found in the Texas Government Code Sec. 76.011. This section of law empowers counties to establish and maintain pretrial intervention programs specifically tailored to the needs of their communities. It provides a structured framework for how these programs operate, ensuring that they serve the public interest by rehabilitating offenders and preventing future crimes.

By diverting eligible individuals from the traditional criminal justice system, these programs alleviate the burden on courts and jails, allowing resources to be focused on more severe cases. They also give participants the chance to make amends and move forward without a criminal record, which can be a significant barrier to many aspects of life.

In summary, understanding the structure and purpose of pretrial diversion according to Texas law shows us how these programs are more than just a legal formality—they are a crucial part of criminal justice reform, aiming to create positive outcomes from unfortunate situations.

Eligibility and Application Process for Pretrial Diversion in Texas

Understanding who is eligible and how to apply for a pretrial diversion program in Texas is crucial for those seeking an alternative to traditional criminal justice proceedings. Here, we’ll break down the eligibility criteria, the application process, and the importance of legal counsel.

First-time Offender

To qualify for a pretrial diversion program in Texas, typically, the individual must be a first-time offender. This means no prior convictions on their record, especially no felony convictions. The aim here is to offer a second chance to those who have not previously been involved in the criminal justice system.

Non-violent Charges

The nature of the offense plays a significant role in eligibility. Generally, only non-violent charges are considered for pretrial diversion. This includes cases like minor drug offenses or petty theft. Violent crimes, or those involving significant harm to another person, are usually not eligible for diversion programs.

Application Process

The application process for a pretrial diversion program can be quite detailed. It typically involves:

  • Written Application: The first step is completing a comprehensive application that includes personal information, details of the offense, and often a personal statement.
  • Screening: After the application, a screening process is conducted by a pretrial services officer. This step assesses the risk and suitability of the candidate for the diversion program.
  • Interview: Candidates may also be required to undergo an interview with a program director or a pretrial services officer to further evaluate their commitment and suitability for the program.

Legal Counsel

Navigating the application process without professional help can be challenging. It is highly advisable to seek legal counsel. An experienced attorney can provide guidance on the eligibility criteria, help prepare the necessary documentation, and represent the individual during interviews and screenings. Legal representation is key to increasing the chances of acceptance into the program.

In Texas, each county may have specific requirements and nuances in their pretrial diversion programs. For instance, programs in larger counties like Harris or Dallas might differ slightly from those in smaller counties. Therefore, consulting with a lawyer who is familiar with local laws and procedures is essential.

By understanding these steps and meeting the eligibility criteria, suitable candidates can apply for a pretrial diversion program, which offers a pathway to rehabilitation without the consequences of a criminal record. This approach not only benefits the individual by providing them with a second chance but also serves the community by reducing the burden on the courts and jails, allowing resources to be focused on more severe cases. They also give participants the chance to make amends and move forward without a criminal record, which can be a significant barrier to many aspects of life.

In summary, understanding the structure and purpose of pretrial diversion according to Texas law shows us how these programs are more than just a legal formality—they are a crucial part of criminal justice reform, aiming to create positive outcomes from unfortunate situations.

Costs Associated with Pretrial Diversion Programs

When considering a pretrial diversion program, understand the various costs involved. These costs can include program fees, court costs, counseling expenses, community service requirements, and ongoing monitoring. Understanding these costs can help you manage your finances and expectations throughout the process.

Program Fees

The pretrial diversion program cost often includes a program fee, which can vary widely depending on the county and the specific program parameters. For instance, under Tex. Code Crim. Proc. art. 102.0121, a district attorney may collect a reimbursement fee not exceeding $500 to cover expenses related to the administration of a pretrial intervention program. This fee helps reimburse the county for costs incurred during your participation, such as administrative expenses and program materials.

Court Costs

In addition to program fees, participants might also be responsible for court costs. These are separate from the program fees and cover the costs of processing the legal paperwork and court personnel time. While these fees can vary, they are typically mandatory and must be paid by the participant.


Many pretrial diversion programs require participants to undergo counseling or treatment programs, especially if the offense involves substance abuse or mental health issues. The costs for these services can vary depending on the provider, the length of the program, and the type of counseling or treatment required. Sometimes, these costs are included in the overall program fee, but in other cases, participants might need to pay for them separately.

Community Service

While not a direct financial cost, community service requirements do have an “opportunity cost,” meaning the time spent performing community service could be spent elsewhere, such as at a job. It’s important to consider how these hours might affect your personal and professional life.


Ongoing monitoring is another cost factor in pretrial diversion programs. This can include regular check-ins with a probation officer, electronic monitoring, or both. These services ensure compliance with the program’s conditions but also add to the overall cost, either directly paid by the participant or included in the program fees.

Understanding these costs is crucial for anyone considering entering a pretrial diversion program. It’s not just about meeting legal obligations but also managing the financial and personal commitments involved. By considering these factors, participants can better prepare for the responsibilities associated with these programs and make informed decisions about their involvement.

Benefits of Completing a Pretrial Diversion Program

Completing a pretrial diversion program in Texas offers significant benefits, particularly for first-time offenders facing non-violent charges. Here’s how successful completion can reshape an individual’s future:

Avoiding Conviction

The most immediate benefit of a pretrial diversion program is the possibility of avoiding a criminal conviction. If you successfully complete the program, the charges against you are typically dismissed. This means no criminal conviction will appear on your record, which can have profound implications for your future.


Upon the successful completion of a pretrial diversion program, participants may be eligible for expungement. This process effectively seals your arrest and the subsequent legal proceedings from your public record. As a result, it can appear as if the incident never happened. This clean slate can be crucial for moving forward without the burden of a past mistake weighing you down.

Background Checks

In today’s world, background checks are a common procedure for employment, housing applications, and more. Successfully completing a pretrial diversion program and obtaining an expungement means that your arrest and dismissal won’t appear in most background checks. This can open doors that might otherwise be closed due to the presence of a criminal record.

Future Opportunities

Without a criminal record, your opportunities for future employment, educational scholarships, and professional licensing are significantly broadened. Many employers and licensing boards disqualify candidates with criminal records. Completing a pretrial diversion program can preserve various opportunities, allowing you to pursue your career and life goals without the shadow of a past criminal charge.

By participating in a pretrial diversion program, individuals not only avoid the immediate consequences of a conviction but also protect their future prospects and opportunities. This proactive approach can be a decisive step towards a more positive and productive life, free from the constraints that a criminal record might impose.

Frequently Asked Questions about Pretrial Diversion Program Costs

How much does a pretrial diversion program cost in Texas?

The cost of a pretrial diversion program in Texas can vary significantly depending on the county and the specific requirements of the program. Typically, participants might expect to pay anywhere from $300 to $1,000 in program fees alone. Additional costs can include:

  • Counseling fees: Required counseling sessions can range from $15 to $50 per session.
  • Community service administration fees: Some programs charge a fee to manage or record the hours of community service.
  • Monitoring costs: If the program requires electronic monitoring or regular drug testing, these could add substantial costs.
  • Court costs: These are generally separate from the program fees and can vary widely.

Can fees for pretrial diversion programs be waived or reduced?

Yes, in some cases, fees for pretrial diversion programs can be waived or reduced based on the participant’s financial situation. Many programs have a sliding scale for fees based on income or offer payment plans to make costs more manageable. It’s important to discuss these options with the program coordinator or a legal representative.

What happens if I can’t afford the pretrial diversion program fees?

If you find the pretrial diversion program cost prohibitive, it’s crucial to communicate this to the court or the program administrators. They may be able to offer financial assistance or payment plans. Failing to complete the program due to non-payment can lead to reinstatement of the original charges, so it’s important to address financial concerns early in the process.

By understanding these costs and your options, you can better navigate the financial aspect of pretrial diversion programs and focus on completing the program successfully. This proactive approach can significantly impact your future, avoiding the complications that come with a criminal record.


At JED™ Platform, we understand the importance of rehabilitation and community safety. Our pretrial diversion programs are designed not only to help individuals avoid the harsh consequences of a criminal record but also to foster a safer, more understanding community environment.

Pretrial diversion program costs can vary, but investing in these programs is investing in a second chance for individuals and a step forward for community health. By completing a pretrial diversion program, individuals are given the opportunity to address the underlying issues that may have led to their criminal behavior, such as substance abuse or lack of employment skills. This focus on rehabilitation leads to personal growth and, ideally, a decrease in future offenses.

Moreover, community safety is enhanced when individuals are rehabilitated rather than incarcerated. Programs that focus on treatment and responsible behavior help reduce the crime rate and build stronger community ties. Participants often engage in community service, contributing positively and building connections that last far beyond the program.

We at JED™ Platform are committed to supporting these outcomes through our comprehensive pretrial services, which are designed to guide participants through the process with the utmost care and professionalism. We believe that every individual deserves the chance to make amends and move forward without the shadow of past mistakes.

For more information on how these programs can benefit you or someone you know, visit our detailed service page on pretrial diversion programs.

Together, we can work towards a future where second chances lead to positive outcomes and where our communities become safer, more vibrant places to live. Thank you for trusting JED™ Platform to be part of this important journey.