Applications are being accepted from first-time offenders in Texas who are willing to complete the Criminal Diversion Program as a step toward having their charges dismissed. NBC 5 reports on the fresh start program that Collin County offers as an option for non-violent offenders to get back on the right track.

A 23-year-old Collin County man caught with marijuana in his possession, for example, recently completed the Diversion Program. He did not have a steady job when arrested. He also recognized the fact that he was hanging out with the wrong people and at the wrong places. After his acceptance into the Criminal Diversion program, and with the support and care of his mentors, he completed its terms and found a job building playgrounds.

For some Texas residents, their first-time offenses might not have occurred if they had sufficient skills, resources and education to keep them on the right side of the law. The intent of Collin County’s Criminal Diversion Program is to provide those skills. If accepted into the program, you will also find positive encouragement, mentoring and people who care about you.

The District Attorney determines who is admitted into the program. Acceptance requires a personal statement and two letters of recommendation from your friends, family, teachers or employers. The type of charge you are facing also determines your eligibility, and may include theft, criminal mischief or drug possession.

While not every offender qualifies for the Diversion Program, you may be able to apply if you have no prior convictions. For consideration, you must agree to admit guilt, complete the terms of the program and refrain from engaging in criminal activities.

This information is provided for educational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as legal advice.