A First Time Felony Not Eligible For Pretrial Diversion

Is a first time felony eligible for pretrial diversion? Recently, I asked an important question relating to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office Pretrial Diversion Program. I wanted to know if
a person charged with DWI with a child passenger will be eligible for the program. The answer to the question was a emphatic NO.

A person charged with this crime is typically a young mother that makes
the bad judgment of driving with their child in the vehicle while intoxicated. Also, it has been my experience that the woman has never had an arrest before the DWI.

As a DWI Attorney who practices in Houston, I do not see a difference between a woman that drives alone or with a child. The definition of DWI in Texas is that the person lost the normal use of their mental faculties. Thus, it should not come as a surprise that a person would make the mistake of driving with a child in their vehicle. If the District Attorney’s Office’s goal is really to assist first-time offenders with a first-time felony, it should include these type of individuals in the pretrial diversion program in order to help not only the mother but more importantly, the child.