In 2011, the Dallas News reported how Chase Crawford of Gossip Girllanded in jail after being caught with one unlit joint. Crawford, who grew up in Texas, was arrested outside of a Plano club in 2010 for marijuana possession.
“Drug enforcement in this county is very, very no-tolerance,” David Waddill, Collin County’s then first assistant district attorney told Dallas News in 2011.
The Gossip Girl actor was charged with possessing less than two ounces of marijuana, a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to a $2,000 fine and 180 days in jail. Instead of languishing in jail for six months, Crawford was one of the first 200 nonviolent offenders accepted into the DA’s pretrial diversion program, which started in February of 2011.
When defendants are accepted into the Collin County Diversion Program and they successfully complete all terms of the program, they avoid a traditional prosecution and criminal conviction.
Even if someone is a nonviolent offender, admittance into the program is not guaranteed. “For the program to work, I’ve got to believe they respect authority and will respect the program,” Waddill told the Dallas News. “This is not a game.”
Qualifying for Diversion
The Collin County Diversion Program is voluntary and only certain types of criminal offenses are accepted to the program. Each referral must be assessed before they are accepted into the program.
“Does marijuana qualify for diversion?” Yes, like Crawford, defendants charged with marijuana offenses can qualify for diversion. Some other drug offenses can qualify as well, such as drug possession and prescription drug fraud.
Non-drug offenses eligible for the Diversion Program:
- Criminal mischief
- Burglary of a non-habitation
- Possessing burglary tools
- Tampering with evidence
To find out if your marijuana charge qualifies for the Diversion Program, contact The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC to schedule a consultation with a Plano marijuana attorney.