Family Violence Intervention Program
What is the family violence intervention program?
It is an (up to) 12 month Travis County (TX) program that results in a dismissal of an assault FV charge (if successfully completed).
How do I get in the program? Is it available for everyone?
Your attorney will ask the prosecutors to let you in the program. No, it is not available for everyone. The prosecutors will evaluate your case and decide whether you qualify or not.
How do they determine whether I qualify?
It will be based on the evidence of the case, prior arrests if any, and whether the other person involved in the incident is supportive of a dismissal.
Will I have a probation officer?
No, you will not be on probation. There will be a contact person for the program, but this is not probation (because that is not a dismissal). Technically, you will still be on the bond that you received when you were released from jail.
What do I have to do in the program?
There is a checklist of possible requirements. The prosecutors will choose what you are required to do. Mostly the requirements will be to complete counseling, comply with any bond conditions, not use any illegal drugs (including marijuana), and not get arrested for anything else while in the program. They will add any conditions that they think are appropriate. Your attorney can negotiate with the prosecutor about the conditions, but the prosecutors will be hesitant to remove requirements (because they feel like the program is such a good deal that you should be grateful). The program lasts (up to) 12 months. One of the conditions is that you waive your right to a jury trail (in the event that you do not comply with the conditions).
Why do they make me waive my right to a jury trial?
Because a jury trial involves a lot of judicial resources and is occasionally used as a delay tactic by some defense attorneys. You will still have the right to have a trial in front of a judge, who will be fair, but not as easily swayed as a jury member.
What happens if I don't fulfill the requirments?
The prosecutors will proceed on prosecuting you for the case. They will offer a plea bargain that is some type of conviction. Of course, you can still have a trial by judge.
Is the Intervention program a good deal?
It depends on the facts of your case. Your attorney will be able to answer that question after they evaluate the evidence. But, in most cases, getting a dismissal on an assault FV case is fantastic. A dismissal can eventually be expunged.
How much counseling will I need to do? I don't want to do any counseling.
It depends on the result of your CES evaluation. It could be a lot. See this FAQ about the BIPP program. Or, it might not be much. It is unlikely that the prosecutors will let you in the program without you agreeing to complete counseling. Also, I've found that most of my clients end up enjoying the counseling. It can be valuable and really improve your life.
I want to see the documents they make me sign.
I've attached the blank documents below.
I have more questions.
No problem. Give us a call: 512-472-1113