First Offender Drug Program in Texas – All You Need to Know

The prospect of being charged with a drug crime and facing a potential conviction in Texas can be terrifying, especially if it is your first drug offense. However, the First Offender Drug Program in Texas gives a glimpse of hope. First-time drug offenders can have the chance to completely turn their lives around instead of suffering the consequences of having a drug charge on their record. This initiative encourages accountability and promotes rehabilitation for those who are eligible.

Understanding the First Offender Drug Program in Texas

The First Offender Drug Program (FODP) is a court-supervised diversion program for people who are facing drug-related charges for the first time. The aim of the program is to give an alternative to criminal prosecution and incarceration by allowing individuals the opportunity to successfully complete a rehabilitation plan. The program works to increase sobriety within the community, which can effectively reduce the crime rate and increase public safety.

The program typically lasts for several months, with the exact length depending on your charge. Participants are required to comply with strict guidelines, including submitting to random drug testing and going to counseling sessions or education classes. Once participants complete the program, they may have their case dismissed, and it may even be eligible for expunction from their record. Violation of any of the terms of the program will result in termination.

It is the goal of the FODP to address all the underlying issues with substance abuse that led to the individual committing the offense, thus reducing the tendency to re-offend. The program focuses on recovery and rehabilitation, offering all participants another chance to lead productive lives while also easing the burden on the criminal justice system.

Who Is Eligible for the First Offender Drug Program?

The eligibility criteria for the FODP in Texas may vary to some degree, depending on the specific county and the specific program. Generally, if you want to be eligible to participate in the program, you have to meet these requirements:

  • There must be no prior convictions or arrests related to drug crimes on your record.
  • You must have committed one of the eligible offenses listed for the program.
  • You must submit proof of employment or education; for example, a high school diploma, GED, or current enrollment in a high school, GED program, or college/university.
  • You can’t have any criminal offense cases that are currently pending, aside from a Class C misdemeanor.
  • You must be able to pay all fees for the program in full.
  • You cannot have previously participated in any other diversion program.

There may be some additional requirements that apply, and it’s important to consult with a drug crime lawyer to find out the specific eligibility criteria for the FODP in your county.

Benefits of Completing the Program

Completing the First Offender Drug Program can come with many significant benefits, which can positively affect your life and your future. Not only do you avoid going to jail by participating in this program, but its completion can ensure that your charges are dismissed so that you don’t have a conviction on your record. This can also make you eligible to have that record expunged to leave no indication of your arrest and involvement with that charge.

With the program’s focus on counseling, support, and treatment, you will be enabled and encouraged to overcome any substance abuse problems you may have. The program can help you find ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle as you continue your journey.

Participating in and completing the FODP is also a better financial option. Although the program may have associated fees, these fees are generally far more cost-effective than the expenses that are usually associated with court fees and criminal prosecution. The program makes it possible to minimize the long-term effects of a mistake.


Q. What Happens If You Don’t Complete the First Offender Drug Program?

A. If you don’t complete the First Offender Drug Program, your case will be sent back to the Court’s docket. There, your original drug charges will be reinstated, and you will proceed through the criminal court system. You may have to attend a sentencing hearing to receive your punishment for the charges against you, which can include fines and jail time. You will also likely lose out on the opportunity to have your record expunged.

Q. What Is the Charge for First-Time Drug Possession in Texas?

A. The charge for first-time drug possession in Texas depends on the type of drug involved as well as the amount. First-time drug possession can potentially be charged as a Class B misdemeanor if, for instance, it’s possession of a small amount of marijuana. It can also be charged as a first-degree felony for possessing exceedingly large amounts of any drug.

Q. What Happens to First-Time Felony Offenders in Texas?

A. In Texas, individuals who are first-time felony offenders can potentially be eligible for alternative sentencing options, such as a diversion program, if they have no prior convictions. The diversion program would allow the offender to avoid receiving a punishment and, perhaps, avoid having a criminal record. Not all offenders or crimes may qualify for these programs, so it’s important to talk to your lawyer about your options.

Q. Can You Get Probation for a First-Degree Felony Drug Charge in Texas?

A. Yes, it is possible to get probation for a first-degree felony drug charge in Texas, but not all offenders may qualify. The decision is up to the discretion of the judge. Often, if there are any aggravating circumstances, such as a previous conviction or other crimes that were committed, the judge’s decision may be influenced by those facts. First-time felony offenders are more likely to be granted probation in exchange for a suspended jail sentence.

Contact The Law Office of Earl Dobson

The First Offender Drug Program in Texas gives those facing their first drug charge the opportunity to avoid the consequences of a conviction and seek rehabilitation. Eligibility requirements do vary across different counties, but you should understand that there are options available to you. Consult with the criminal defense lawyer at The Law Office of Earl Dobson to learn what options you have. It can significantly change the outcome of your first drug offense case.

Don’t Wait!
Contact Us Today

Fields marked with an * are required

"*" indicates required fields

I Have Read The Disclaimer*
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.