What’s The Problem With Pre-Trial Interventions?

As I keep progressing in my legal career, certain things that District Attorneys do continue to confound and bewilder me. This week, it was the seeming reluctance of ADA’s to allow me to put together pre-trial intervention packets for clients, because of very minor past charges that clients had on their record. For example, I was denied the opportunity to put together a PTI packet for a client who was suspected of DWI, because she had a marijuana possession charge. While the rules on PTI state that they’re for people with “clean” records, why is this the case? Maybe it’s the fact that I’m a defense attorney, but I believe in keeping people’s criminal records as clean as possible. ADA’s don’t seem to understand how hard it is for some people to find employment in general, much less with a criminal record of any kind. I know clients that have deferred adjudications on their record for relatively minor offenses that have trouble finding jobs for that exact reason. I realize that ADA’s in Harris County have a great deal of cases to deal with, but it’s appalling to me how much they seem to disregard the lives of each individual defendant.

Briefly, just in case there are other young attorneys that might be reading this, I want to outline how to properly put together a pre-trial intervention packet. First, your client has to put together a detailed statement explaining his offense, and his conduct that led to his offense. This will not be used against him in the future, except to impeach him if he testifies inconsistently at trial. Our good friends JoAnne Musick, Danny Easterling, and Wade Smith were able to convince the District Attorney’s office to remove language that stated that law enforcement could keep its records if the intervention was granted and you wanted to expunge your client’s record later. Huge boon for defense attorneys. Secondly, you will need to write a statement for your client stating why pretrial intervention would be more beneficial than deferred adjudication. Lastly, collect as many letters from family members, or friends of the client as possible that show support for him and his situation, as well as assuring the court that he will never again participate in criminal activity.

About Tillet J Mills II

As a recent graduate from the University of Missouri-Columbia law school, Attorney Tillet J. Mills II has dedicated his legal practice to the defense of men and women facing a wide range of criminal matters. Since moving to Harris County recently, he has remained committed to helping his clients secure the best outcomes possible. With a public speaking background, a long-documented history of charity work, and a relatable personality, Tillet J Mills II has the skillset of a successful criminal defense lawyer.

Contact Tillet at 832-942-8389