The Harris County Retail Theft Pre-Trial Diversion Program is for individuals who have never been in trouble before and are caught shoplifting from a store. You are NOT ELIGIBLE for this program if:
- If the property stolen is over $750
- If the property stolen was not recovered
- If you owe the store restitution
- If the case is an employee theft
The process for applying for the Pre-Trial Intervention Program:
On the first day of court, your lawyer will talk to the prosecutor regarding your eligibility. Your lawyer will be given a form that you will have to read. You will also get a sample of the agreement that you are going to sign to be in this program. Once you sign the forms, your case will be reset for about 100 days. This gives you the opportunity to complete the program. After that, you will report to the department that is going to oversee your program.
Once you get to the department (which is typically the probation department, even though you are not on probation) a staff member will again go over the acceptance forms with you and you will sign the agreement. You will be given an invoice and instructions on how to pay the fees for this program. You will be given a deadline to submit proof of payment to the department.
The program mainly consists of a class that you need to complete within the 90 days (the sooner the better). Typically, it is an 8-hour cognitive skills class, but that is something that is subject to change at any point. You are also told that you must not pick up any new cases during this 90-day period.
Once you finish everything, the final step is to wait for your court date. On your final court date, if you did everything you were supposed to do than your case will be dismissed, and eventually will be eligible for expunction.