For those charged in Austin with a Felony level offense possession of a controlled substance, there is often the opportunity to stay out of district court, and to have the case dismissed, if you qualify for and complete the Travis County Drug Diversion / S.H.O.R.T. program. (S.H.O.R.T. stands for System of Healthy Options for Release and Transition.)

For those seeking to learn about this program, let me tell you this: the SHORT program is no cakewalk. I often tell prospective clients that the one year they will spend completing the SHORT program is much tougher than one year of felony probation. Of course, the catch is this:

(1) you don’t get just one year of probation for a felony offense in Texas, because the minimum is two years, and many folks get somewhere between five and ten years of probation for felony drug offenses. And…

(2) probation stays on your record. If it’s deferred probation, you may be eligible for a motion for non-disclosure, but never an expunction. If you successfully complete SHORT, you can apply for an expunction, which completely wipes the arrest off of your record.

So while it may be true that SHORT is more difficult to complete than even a probation; but it’s still well worth it. When I hear clients tell me that some lawyer told them not to bother with the program, I always think that lawyer is trying to get himself a client, rather than help the person the best way they know how.

The Admission criteria for SHORT are listed here.

  • Jennifer

    Hey Babe,

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  • ann

    U reccommend this program and I see the reasoning. However, what if a participant of SHORT is being harrassed, and arbitarily assigned financially burndensome requirements outside the scope of the previously stated program ‘requirements. What if the mission of the program is to facilitate progression movement toward the development of a productive individual. What if one of the participants has a documented disability for which the program is making no provision and instead piling on ‘unrequired’, difficult to meet ‘extra’ non defined requirements in an obvious attempt to cause noncompliance and ultimate failure.

  • There’s another aspcet to the case that doesn’t make sense. Marvel had Kirby sign that agreement in 1972 giving up all rights to Captain America, and presumably (I’ve never seen the details of any agreements, so in a way I’m speaking hypothetically) Kirby also signed away rights to other characters he created. Given that hypothetical, how can Marvel contend that Kirby knew he was work for hire? If both parties knew that the work was work for hire, why have an agreement that basically states that the work done years previously was work for hire?If, as so many contend, it was common knowledge at the time the Marvel characters were created that it was work for hire, then there would have been no need for an agreement in the first place. Marvel, in seeking such an agreement, wasn’t sure that his, Kirby’s work, was work for hire. So there couldn’t have been any such understanding at the time the work was created. Allen Smith

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