If you have a clear record and are charged with a case such as a theft or possession of marijuana or other drugs, there are two ways to keep these off your record. There are benefits to both and you should talk with a lawyer about which of these is right for you.
1). Deferred adjudication -can be as short as 6 months in some courts, usually up to a 1 year probation. You will have to plead guilty to judge and the judge will explain they are setting aside finding of guilt until you’ve completed probation successfully. As part of the probation, you will be required to do random drug testing, a drug/alcohol evaluation, 12-24 hours of community service, an anti-theft class and meet with a probation officer monthly.
The result is you will have no conviction if you complete this successfully, you can later file a petition for nondisclosure of this case. That means it can be sealed from most people, but remains visible to government agencies and law enforcement.
2.) Pretrial diversion – this is a program you first must apply to be accepted into. Every court has different requirements, but most include you write a letter to DA admitting guilt, show proof of employment or education, letters of recommendation from non-family members. If you are accepted, the plan is you sign a 1 year contract with the DA’s office, that lays out he details of your agreement. These usually include the similar conditions to a deferred adjudication, but with 80 hrs community service, and there is a zero tolerance policy for any mistakes made during the year.
The result after a year is the outright dismissal of the case. You have to wait 2 years from the date of dismissal, but you can then file a motion to expunge, which Completely clears off your record.