While states, such as California, Nevada, and Colorado have legalized
marijuana possession, that is not the case in Texas. If you’re caught with
two ounces or less of marijuana, you’d face misdemeanor charges,
up to 6 months in jail, and up to a $2,000 fine.
“Drug enforcement in this county is very, very no-tolerance,”
David Waddill, Collin County’s first assistant district attorney told the
Dallas Morning News in 2011.
The penalties for felony
drug possession are quite severe in Texas, but Collin County’s DWI/Drug Court Program
allows qualifying individuals who successful complete the program to wipe
their record clean.
When qualifying participants successfully complete the one-year, post-conviction
program, which includes community service and random drug testing –
their arrest documents are shredded and their electronic records deleted.
The diversion program was an initiative of District Attorney Greg Willis,
who took office in January of 2011. Waddill told the
Dallas Morning News that the purpose of the program was to give some of our young people a
second chance. “It’s really to keep a stupid mistake off their
record,” said Waddill. “A lot of kids just need a wake-up
While the program is for adults of all ages, about three-fourths of the
program’s participants are in their teens and 20s, according to
Waddill. Many defense attorneys feel that the program is a wonderful.
There are a lot of requirements, but since it allows a defendant to get
their felony dismissed, it’s definitely worth it.
For 12th graders facing possession charges, they can get kicked out of
school, they can get kicked off football, basketball, volleyball, and
cheerleading teams. Sometimes they have to transfer to an alternative
school, and drug charges can mess up an 18 or 19-year-old’s chances
of attending a good college.
Qualifying for the Program
The DWI/Drug Court Program was created for individuals who are charged
with felony DWI or drug offenses. The program is not for everyone and
you have to be “accepted” into it. The program is rigorous
and requires that participants stop drinking and doing drugs – they
also have to be willing to follow the rules.
The DWI/Drug court involves:
- A substance abuse evaluation
- Frequent court appearances
- Random drug testing
- Unscheduled home visits from police officers or members of the drug court team
- Group and individual drug/alcohol treatment
- Other programs and services that are deemed appropriate
There are numerous benefits to completing the Felony DWI/Drug Court Program,
for example, you may save thousands in fines. If your driver’s license
was suspended by the court, you may be allowed to have an occupational
license that allows you to drive to and from work. If you were ordered
to perform community service, it may be waived so you can focus on counseling
and support meetings.
Please note: To successfully complete the program, you must participate in every aspect
of the treatment recommended for you specifically. If you are not willing
to follow the recommendations made by a counselor, you should not try
to enter the program.
Not everyone qualifies for the program and admittance is not guaranteed,
even if you’re a first-time non-violent offender. For a defendant
to be accepted, the district attorney’s office must believe that
the he or she will respect authority and follow the rules.
The district attorney’s office is looking to see if the defendant
is a risk to the community, is associated with known criminals, or has
a long history of drug or alcohol abuse – those types of red flags.
If the defendant has honest intentions and learned their lesson, then
If you are interested in learning about Collin County’s Felony DWI/Drug
contact our firm to speak with a Plano criminal defense lawyer!