DPI is a diversion program offering a second chance for first-time offenders. Get your case dismissed and expunged!

Many clients come to Barnett Howard & Williams PLLC seeking a criminal defense attorney for a first-time drug offense. They have no criminal history or experience with the criminal justice system. In the past, Tarrant County required the first-time offender to be under 25 in order to qualify for their diversion program on drug offenses. However, in November 2020, Tarrant County created the Deferred Prosecution Initiative (DPI) for first-time drug offenders that are OVER the age of 25.

Click HERE to download the Tarrant County Deferred Prosecution Initiative (DPI) Application

Deferred Prosecution Initiative (DPI) Guidelines

Deferred Prosecution Initiative (DPI) is an extension of the highly successful Deferred Prosecution Program (DPP) created in 1974 by then CDA Tim Curry for self-correcting first-offenders. The parameters of DPP were changed in 2015 to increase the availability of the program. The program remains highly successful with a success rate of approximately 90%.

DPI builds on the DPP model as an innovative, affordable alternative to prosecution where first-time offenders can rehabilitate and restart their lives without the full effects of criminal prosecution. DPI is a deferred prosecution that results in reducing recidivism while preserving prosecutorial resources.

It is incumbent upon prosecutors to look at the offender and not just the offense when seeking justice in each case. Eligible individuals accused of committing a listed crime may participate in this self-rehabilitation initiative which focuses on self-correction. Designees of the Criminal District Attorney will carefully evaluate cases for offense eligibility and offender suitability for DPI.

Participants who successfully complete the program will have the case dismissed and be eligible for an immediate expunction. Unsuccessful participants will have their case indicted and proceed with traditional criminal prosecution.

A team of prosecutors, investigators and criminal defense attorneys have designed the Deferred Prosecution Initiative to ensure that all offenders, without regard to race, gender or other demographic, have an equal chance to succeed and the Initiative meets the goal of giving first-time offenders an opportunity for rehabilitation without acquiring a criminal record.


  • To give first-time offenders a chance to self-correct and take responsibility for their actions.
  • To promote sobriety.
  • To reduce recidivism while seeking justice.
  • To preserve prosecutorial and criminal justice resources for violent offenders.
  • To provide restitution, where appropriate.



DPI is available to those who are willing and able to rehabilitate themselves and meet the following requirements:

  • First-time offender
  • 25 years of age or older at the time of the offense
  • No prior criminal convictions
  • No certifications or adjudications as a juvenile
  • No previous participation in any Tarrant County deferred prosecution

Upon successful completion of the program period, the pending case will be dismissed and the successful participant is eligible for an immediate expunction.



Applicant must apply within 90 days of the case being filed. If the completed application is not received within 90 days, the application will not be considered. A completed application includes the following:

  • DPI Questionnaire (completed in its entirety)
  • Personal statement
  • Hair test, given at Tarrant County Community Supervision and Corrections Department (Necessary paperwork will be provided when application is turned in to obtain drug test)
  • Restitution for lab fees must be paid no later than the date of applicant’s final hair test
  • Non-refundable partial program fee of $150.00



The applicant must attend orientation before being accepted into DPI. The remainder of the program fee must be paid in full at the conclusion of orientation. All waivers must be completed and signed, by both the applicant and defense attorney, at the beginning of orientation.

  • Judicial Confession, Waivers and Motion to be signed include:
    • Waiver of Rights (Waiver of Right to Counsel,
    • Waiver of Right to a Speedy Trial, Waiver of Right to an Indictment, Waiver of Right to Confront and Cross-Examine Witnesses, Waiver of Right to Remain Silent)
    • Judicial Confession, Admission and Stipulation of Evidence
    • Joint Motion for Continuance



The Program fee is $300; $150 due with application; $150 due on date of orientation.



The term of the program is six (6) months.



Upon successful completion of DPI, the participant is entitled to an immediate expunction under Art. 71.011 TEXAS GOVERNMENT CODE and Art. 55.01 CODE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE. Expunction is not included in the cost of DPI. An expunction attorney is required to file the necessary paperwork for an expunction and additional court costs will be incurred.

Applicant/participant waives his/her right to have all records and files of the arrest expunged. Applicant/participant must sign and agree that the scope of any expunction order must be limited to permit the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office to retain a record of applicant’s/participant’s participation in DPP or DPI and a copy of this waiver. The record of participation will include applicant’s name, the date and offense filed, and will be used for the future limited purpose of determining whether a DPP or DPI applicant is ineligible because of the applicant’s prior participation in DPP or DPI. The Criminal District Attorney shall maintain this list as a confidential work product document. Similarly, the Criminal District Attorney shall maintain a copy of this signed waiver. Both documents will be maintained for five years from the date of disposition and will not be disclosed to the public or any other government agency unless required by law, including, but not limited to a court order or statute.



  1. Cases filed on or after November 1, 2020, application must be received no later than 90 days from case file date – No Exceptions!
  2. Cases filed prior to November 1, 2020, application must be received no later than January 8, 2021.
  3. Orientation must be attended by all applicants. Orientations will be conducted on Thursday afternoons in the 4th floor Media Room.
  4. At the conclusion of orientation, applicant must:
    • Pay remainder of DPI fee
    • Present waiver of rights signed by applicant and defense attorney
    • Receive conditions of DPI
  5. Applicant and defense attorney must sign and date the waiver of rights, joint motion for continuance and conditions of DPI
  6. Applicant/participant must submit drug testing via three (3) hair tests throughout the duration of DPI.
    • The first hair sample is given after orientation to establish a baseline.
    • The second hair sample is given in month three (3) of the program.
    • The final hair test is given in month six (6) of DPI and within 15 days of the end of the term.
    • The second and third hair tests must be negative.
  7. Drug testing will be performed by CSCD (first come, first served)
    • Central 200 W Belknap St, (basement) MALES only 7:00 am – 6:00 pm
    • Central 300 W Belknap St, (4th floor) FEMALES only 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
    • 3210 Miller Ave (Miller Complex) MALE 7:00 am – 6:00 pm
    • 3210 Miller Ave (Miller Complex) FEMALE 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
    • Out of county and out of state drug testing can be performed at additional cost to applicant/participant. Please see program administrator for approval.
  8. Participant must complete an online 4-hour Drug Education Course or show proof of continued therapy or counseling at applicant’s expense.
  9. Applicant must pay restitution to law enforcement for lab fees.
  10. Program term will be six (6) months for all offenses.
  11. If participant tests positive for drugs while in DPI, participant will be terminated from DPI.
  12. If participant is charged with a criminal offense of a Class B misdemeanor or higher while in DPI, participant will be terminated from DPI.
  13. If participant is terminated from DPI, the trial court will be notified to set the case for a court setting.
  14. When participant successfully completes DPI, the case will be dismissed and applicant is eligible for immediate expunction.



  1. Possession of marihuana under 2 ounces – (M)
  2. Possession of marihuana 2-4 ounces – (M)
  3. Possession of marihuana under 2 ounces, drug free zone – (M)
  4. Possession of controlled substance (PG3), under 28 grams – (M)
  5. Possession of controlled substance (PG2A), under 2 ounces – (M)
    • Limited to K2
  6. Possession of controlled substance (PG2A), under 1 gram – (M)
    • Limited to K2
  7. Possession of a dangerous drug – (M)
  8. Possession of marihuana 2-4 ounces, drug free zone – (SJF)
  9. Possession of controlled substance (PG1), under 1 gram – (SJF)
    • Excluding heroin and fentanyl
  10. Possession of controlled substance (PG1A), fewer than 20 abuse units – (SJF)
    • Limited to lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)
  11. Possession of controlled substance (PG2), under 1 gram – Drug Free Zone ( F3)
    • Limited to amphetamine, lisdexamfetamine, methoxymethamphetamine (ecstasy/MDMA), psilocybin, psilocin, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in the form of edibles, vape pens, cigars, waxes, oils
  12. Possession of controlled substance (PG2), under 1 gram (SJF)
    • Limited to amphetamine, lisdexamfetamine, methoxymethamphetamine (ecstasy/MDMA), psilocybin, psilocin, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in the form of edibles, vape pens, cigars, waxes, oils
  13. Possession of controlled substance (PG2), 1 gram < 4 grams (F3)
    • Limited to methoxymethamphetamine (ecstasy/MDMA), psilocybin, psilocin, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in the form of edibles, vape pens, cigars, waxes, oils
  14. Possession of controlled substance (PG2), 4 <400 grams (F2)
    • Limited to Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in the form of edibles, vape pens, cigars, waxes, oils
  15. Possession of controlled substance (PG4), under 28G (M)

*Cases accepted into the program subject to Criminal District Attorney discretion




  1. Recent juvenile adjudication or certifications
  2. Member of mental health priority population (other initiatives and diversion programs may be better suited)
  3. Previous conviction or supervision for Class B offenses and higher
  4. Previous participation in a deferred prosecution program
  5. Any gang affiliation



  1. Multiple offenses not occurring out of the same criminal episode
  2. Offense committed while on bond
  3. Injuring or placing anyone in danger during course of offense
  4. Gang related offense
  5. Any drug offense in which applicant is alleged to be manufacturing, delivering or possessing with intent to manufacture or deliver

Why Should I Apply for the Deferred Prosecution Initiative?

To put is simply, the DPI program is the fastest way to clear your record of an arrest. For first-time offenders, it is a very short probationary period that is followed by a lifetime free of a criminal history. That is great news for those with ambitions of military service or professional careers.

DPI Defense Attorneys – Get Your Case Dismissed and Cleared From Your Record

The Criminal defense team at Barnett Howard & Williams PLLC handles DPI cases. Our clients have a proven track record of success with the application and the program. We are standing by ready to assist you with your DPI application and we look forward to the day when we can tell you that your record is clear again.

Free Consultations – Time Limits to Apply for DPI! Call to See if Your Case Qualifies

Call us today at (817) 993-9249 to see if you are eligible for the Deferred Prosecution Initiative.


Primary Location
209 W. 8th St
Fort Worth, TX 76102


101 Quest Court
Keller, Texas 76248