Back in early 2015 Harris County came out with a new marijuana program which they called the First Chance Intervention program. This program was intended for first time offenders who were charged with a Class B possession of marijuana (up to 2 oz). This program was intended to help individuals earn a dismissal if they were first offenders.
Through this program you had to get a lawyer, go to court, and your lawyer had to apply for you to get accepted. If you were accepted, then your case would be reset about 100 days and you were told to do one of 2 things.
- 8 hours of community service, OR
- A drug class
Once this was done, the case would be dismissed off docket and you would be eligible for expunction. This all changed in early 2017 when they renamed the program the Misdemeanor Marijuana Diversion Program (MMDP).
As of March 1, 2017, when an officer detains you for a misdemeanor amount of marijuana, the cop will call the DAs office to give them the probable cause for your arrest. After that, the DA will determine if you are eligible for MMDP. If you are eligible, then the officer will refer you to the MMDP program where you will have to do a 4 hour cognitive decision making class taught by the probation department.
If you choose to do the program, you will sign an agreement and finish your class instead of being arrested and prosecuted like normal. You will have 90 days to finish the program. If you successfully complete the class then you will never be charged with a crime. There will no NO criminal history of this event!
But if you fail to comply, then a formal charge will be entered into the system, a warrant for your arrest will be issued, and you will be prosecuted.
To be eligible, you have to:
- Be an adult, age 17 or older
- Be detained or arrested for possession of marijuana (up to 4 ounces)
- Have ID on you at the time of arrest
- Have no other criminal charges out of the same event (other than traffic tickets)
- Have no warrants pending against you
- Not be on bond or on probation for another case
NOTE: You are still eligible if you have a criminal record, or even if you were in this program before. This is a big change from the 2015 policy.
You will not be eligible if:
- There is evidence you are a marijuana dealer
- You had a gun (you will be charged with Unlawful Carrying of a Weapon only)
- You had the marijuana in a drug free zone (school, etc)
- You had the marijuana in a jail
- You are already in the MMDP program
The form that you are given reads:
“NOTICE TO OFFENDER FORM
Misdemeanor Marijuana Diversion Program (MMDP)
I have been detained for the offense of Possession of Marijuana, a Class A or B Misdemeanor offense, punishable by a fine not to exceed $4,000 and/or up to one year in jail. I understand that I am being offered the opportunity to participate in the Harris County District Attorney MMDP, which provides an alternative to traditional arrest and charging.
I understand that if I agree to participate in this 90-day program and successfully complete it, my record will remain clear of any arrest or charge for the above referenced offense. I understand and agree that in exchange for being released from the custody of the Officer at this time, I agree to complete a 4-hour “Cognitive Decision Making” class within 90 days. I will sign up and pay $150 for the 4-hour “Cognitive Decision Making” at the Harris County Website.
I understand that the “Cognitive Decision Making” class must be taken in person at 49 San Jacinto St., Houston, TX 77002. I agree to pay the $150 cost, and if I am indigent, that I will contact the Harris County Community Corrections & Supervision Dept. to make individual arrangements Monday-Friday from 8am4pm. For questions, Email: Marijuanadiversionprogram@csc.hctx.net or Call (713) 274-8444 and ask to speak to the Marijuana Diversion Coordinator.”