(a) In this chapter, “mental health court program” means a program that has the following essential characteristics:
(1) the integration of mental illness treatment services and mental retardation services in the processing of cases in the judicial system;
(2) the use of a nonadversarial approach involving prosecutors and defense attorneys to promote public safety and to protect the due process rights of program participants;
(3) early identification and prompt placement of eligible participants in the program;
(4) access to mental illness treatment services and mental retardation services;
(5) ongoing judicial interaction with program participants;
(6) diversion of potentially mentally ill or mentally retarded defendants to needed services as an alternative to subjecting those defendants to the criminal justice system;
(7) monitoring and evaluation of program goals and effectiveness;
(8) continuing interdisciplinary education to promote effective program planning, implementation, and operations; and
(9) development of partnerships with public agencies and community organizations, including local mental retardation authorities.
(b) If a defendant successfully completes a mental health court program, after notice to the attorney representing the state and a hearing in the mental health court at which that court determines that a dismissal is in the best interest of justice, the mental health court shall provide to the court in which the criminal case is pending information about the dismissal and shall include all of the information required about the defendant for a petition for expunction under Section 2(b), Article 55.02, Code of Criminal Procedure . The court in which the criminal case is pending shall dismiss the case against the defendant and:
(1) if that trial court is a district court, the court may, with the consent of the attorney representing the state, enter an order of expunction on behalf of the defendant under Section 1a(a-2), Article 55.02, Code of Criminal Procedure ; or
(2) if that trial court is not a district court, the court may, with the consent of the attorney representing the state, forward the appropriate dismissal and expunction information to enable a district court with jurisdiction to enter an order of expunction on behalf of the defendant under Section 1a(a-2), Article 55.02, Code of Criminal Procedure .
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