ARE ALTERNATIVE PROGRAMS AVAILABLE FOR FIRST-TIME OFFENDERS IN TEXAS?
If you’re a first-time offender, you probably think that your status gives you a slight advantage and flexibility in terms of your sentence. For the most part, that’s true! However, it may depend on the jurisdiction. Many jurisdictions — Tarrant County in particular — have diversion programs. These programs are not through the court. They do not result in any type of record, and they put you in the position to be able to expunge it from your record after completion. There are also deferred prosecution programs. In some jurisdictions, they can be run by the district attorney’s office, and the person is placed on an informal probation outside of court. If you complete that program, the case can be expunged from your record. There are other similar programs, sometimes called direct programs or direct court programs, that can also result in cases being dismissed and being eligible to be expunged from the record. An expunction lawsuit causes the records to be erased, destroyed, and deleted from computers, so there is no record of
arrest; it does not show up on a background check; and it legally authorizes you to say it never happened.
It gets you back to normal life so it does not affect your future and does not result in a criminal record.
If expungement isn’t an option, it isn’t the end of the road. With the right legal help, criminal charges can often be dropped, dismissed, or reduced. Often, there are legal issues surrounding whether or not the police acted within the confines of the law. Also, first-time offenses are typically minor, and the prosecutor can be convinced that with the positive steps the person has taken — maybe community service hours or some type of counseling program — the case should be dismissed. Medlin Law doesn’t just specialize in criminal law; we specialize in ensuring a better future for you. If you need our expert legal help today, please don’t hesitate to give our office a call.
Sheet Pan Chicken Dinner
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks 2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp honey
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp canola oil
1 large head of broccoli, cut into florets
1 tbsp soy sauce
1. Preheat oven to 425 F. 2. On a large baking sheet, combine chicken, sweet potatoes, salt, and pepper. Drizzle with oil and toss to coat. 3. Bake for 15 minutes. In the
4. Remove pan from oven and use a spatula to flip the chicken and potatoes, then add broccoli florets. 5. Drizzle sauce evenly over top and return to the oven to bake for an additional 15 minutes or until chicken has an internal temperature of 165 F and vegetables are fork-tender.
meantime, make the sauce by combining the soy sauce, lemon juice, honey, and cayenne pepper.
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