DPP is a second chance for first-time offenders. Get your case dismissed.
Many clients come to Barnett Howard & Williams PLLC seeking a Fort Worth criminal defense attorney for a first offense. They have no criminal history or experience with the criminal justice system. If the first-time offender is between the ages of 17 and 24, there is a program in place in Tarrant County that was designed specifically for them. DPP.
Deferred Prosecution Program (DPP) Guidelines
Tarrant County’s Deferred Prosecution Program, or DPP, is generally available to youthful defendants, ages 17-24 at the time of the alleged offense, who have never before been convicted of a criminal offense, and who are serious about rehabilitating themselves.
DPP consists of two separate programs tracks:
- Track A consists of an application with strict screening requirements, background investigation, an orientation interview, and an agreement by the participant to abide by the terms and conditions of the program.
- Track B is targeted toward defendants with marijuana and substance abuse charges. Track B also consists on an application with strict screening requirements, a background investigation, a negative drug test, an orientation meeting, and an agreement that the participant will follow the terms of DPP. During the DPP supervisory period the participant in Track B will submit to additional urinalysis drug testing to ensure that the participant is not using drugs.
Upon successful completion of the supervisory period in both Tracks A and B, the Tarrant County District Attorney will dismiss the pending criminal case.
DPP Application Process – Strict Time Limits Apply!
A defendant that is interested in applying for the deferred prosecution program, must submit application within 90 days after the case is filed. Any applications submitted after the 90-day deadline will not be considered. There are currently no exceptions to the 90-day application deadline.
The application includes the following information:
- Questionnaire, which must be completed by the applicant;
- Two (2) original signed letters of recommendation. The letters must be written by an adult who has known the defendant for at least three (3) years and who has knowledge of the pending criminal charge. The person writing the letter MUST NOT be a relative or a co-defendant;
- A personal statement by the defendant regarding why he/she is seeking entry into the program;
- Copy of High School diploma, College Transcript, or GED;
- Negative Drug Test (test must be taken at the Tarrant County Adult Probation Department)
- Initial DPP Application Fee of $25.00 (non-refundable)
How Much Does the DPP Diversion Program Cost?
- Track A = $125 ($25 due with application and $100 due at orientation)*
- Track B = $225 ($25 due with application and $200 due at orientation)*
*Fees may be paid by cash or money order. No personal checks.
Deferred Prosecution Program Orientation
Before an applicant may be accepted in the DPP program, he/she must attend an orientation meeting. One parent or guardian must accompany the applicant to the orientation. At the time of the orientation, the remaining portion of the program fee must be paid in full. Any applicable waivers signed by the applicant and defense attorney must also be presented during the orientation.
How Long Does the DPP Program Last?
Length of the DPP Program:
- Misdemeanor Offenses: Four (4) months*
- Felony Offenses: Eight (8) months*
*If restitution is owed, the term of supervision can be extended until restitution is paid.
Expunction After Completion of DPP
Once a defendant completes the DPP program, he/she is immediately eligible to have the case expunged from his/her record. Under the law, once a matter is expunged, a person may act as though it never existed. The costs of an expunction (attorney’s fees and filing fees) are not included in the costs of the DPP Program.
Coordinating Instructions for DPP
Below are a few of the housekeeping matters to note for DPP supervision:
- Applicants must be 17-24 years of age at the time of the alleged offense;
- All applications for DPP must be received within 90 days of the case being filed;
- Each applicant must attend orientation prior to approval for participation in DPP. Orientation are conducted on Thursday afternoons in the Media Room on the 4th floor of the Tim Curry Justice Center located at 401 W. Belknap, Fort Worth, Texas 76102.
- Drug Testing is conducted by the Tarrant County Community Supervision and Corrections Department at the following locations on a first-come, first-served basis:
- Central Office: 200 W. Belknap St. (basement), MALES only from 7:30am – 5:00pm
- Central Office: 300 W. Belknap St. (4th Floor), FEMALES only from 8:00am – 5:00pm
- Miller Complex: 3210 Miller Ave., MALES and FEMALES from 7:00am – 6:00pm
- Participants will report for four (4) months if the alleged offense is a misdemeanor and eight (8) months if the alleged offense is a felony;
- The criminal case is DISMISSED upon successful completion of DPP and participants are immediately eligible for an expunction.
What Offenses are Eligible for DPP?
The Deferred Prosecution Program is not available for all offenses. Below is a list of qualifying offenses for each DPP track.
DPP Eligible Offenses – Track A
- Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle (State Jail Felony)
- Theft (including Theft of Service) less than $20,000 (Misdemeanor to State Jail Felony)
- Credit Card/Debit Card Abuse (Felony)
- Forgery (Misdemeanor)
- Possession, Manufacture, or Use of an Instrument to Commit Retail Theft (Misdemeanor)
- Burglary of a Vehicle/Building/Coin Operated Machine (Misdemeanor to State Jail Felony)
- Criminal Mischief less than $20,000 (Misdemeanor to State Jail Felony)
- Removal, Destruction, or Concealment of Writing
- Tampering with a Government Record (Misdemeanor to State Jail Felony)
- Criminal Trespass (Misdemeanor)
- Evading Arrest (not vehicle, no injury) (Misdemeanor)
- Failure to ID (Misdemeanor)
- Providing a False Report to a Police Officer (Misdmeanor)
- Providing Alcohol to a Minor (Misdemeanor)
- Failure to Stop at Accident or Failure to Give Notice (Misdemeanor)
- Graffiti with Damage Less than $20,000 (Misdemeanor to State Jail Felony)
- Silent or Abusive 911 Calls (Misdemeanor)
- Fraudulent Use or Possession of Identifying Information with Less Than 5 Items (State Jail Felony)
- Trademark Counterfeiting less than $20,000 (Misdemeanor to State Jail Felony)
- Labeling Unauthorized Recording (Misdemeanor to State Jail Felony)
DPP Eligible Offenses – Track B
- Possession of Marijuana Under 2oz, including Drug Free Zone (Misdemeanor)
- Possession of Marijuana 2-4oz, including Drug Free Zone (Misdemeanor to State Jail Felony)
- Possession of a Controlled Substance PG3 Under 28 grams (Misdemeanor)
- Possession of a Controlled Substance PG2A Under 2oz (Misdemeanor)
- Possession of a Controlled Substance PG2A Under 1 gram (Misdemeanor)
- Possession of a Dangerous Drug (Misdemeanor)
- Possession of a Controlled Substance PG1 Under 1 gram (State Jail Felony)
Is There Anything That Would Disqualify Me From DPP?
An applicant is disqualified for DPP if he/she:
- Is over 24 years of age at the time of the offense;
- Has a previous juvenile conviction;
- Is a member of the mental health priority population;
- Has a positive drug test during the application process;
- Has a previous conviction or deferred adjudication for a Class B misdemeanor offense or above;
- Has previously participated in DPP.
Further, an applicant is disqualified for DPP if:
- The applicant is charged with multiple offenses not arising out of the same incident;
- The alleged offense was committed after a first arrest or while on bond;
- The offense involved injury or placing anyone in danger of injury;
- The offense was related to gang activity.
Why Should I Apply for the Deferred Prosecution Program?
To put is simply, the DPP 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.
DPP Defense Attorneys – Get Your Case Dismissed and Cleared From Your Record
The Fort Worth criminal defense attorneys at Barnett Howard & Williams PLLC handle DPP cases everyday. 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 DPP 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 DPP! Call to See if Your Case Qualifies
Call us today at (817) 993-9249 to see if you are eligible for the Deferred Prosecution Program. We will take the time to speak with you and help you get started right away.