DUI Diversion Programs: Do You Qualify?
Jan. 20, 2022
If you have been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in Missouri, you undoubtedly want to figure out how you can keep a DUI conviction off of your criminal record. A DUI can keep you from getting the education or job you want, disqualify you from receiving loans, increase the cost of your auto insurance, and even affect your custody of your children. If there is a way to keep a conviction off of your record, you should be interested in pursuing it.
The availability to you of participating in a DUI diversion program rests solely with the prosecuting attorney. If you are facing DUI charges, you need a criminal defense lawyer with a working relationship with prosecuting attorneys in Kansas City, Missouri, as well as Jackson, Platte, and Clay counties, and elsewhere in the state. At Guilfoil Law Group, I provide unparalleled representation for people arrested for DUIs. If you are interested in finding out if you qualify for a DUI diversion program, reach out to me for a consultation.
DUI Diversion Programs in Missouri
A DUI diversion program is an alternative to traditional prosecution and conviction for a DUI charge. The program requires completion of, for example, an alcohol treatment program, random alcohol testing, installation of an interlock ignition device on your vehicle, participation in other events such as victim impact panels or community service, and it may require payment of fines or restitution.
If accepted into a DUI diversion program, you will sign an agreement with the prosecuting attorney that details the terms of the agreement, requirements for successful completion of the program, and what happens to the charges and your record if you do so.
The purpose of a DUI diversion program is to rehabilitate offenders without jail time and to give them an opportunity to keep a criminal conviction off of their record. Even participation in a diversion program, however, may not preclude you from a license suspension as part of the DUI process.
Qualifying for DUI Diversion
People arrested for DUI for the first time may qualify for a diversion program. The DUI offense must have been non-violent, meaning you did not injure anyone while driving under the influence or threaten anyone with violence. You may also be evaluated for the risk of reoffending or committing another crime.
In Missouri, the prosecuting attorney is the person who decides whether to offer the opportunity to participate in a DUI diversion program. Likewise, it is the prosecuting attorney who determines the precise terms of the diversion agreement, monitors and assesses your progress throughout the duration, and decides whether you have successfully completed the program or not.
The prosecuting attorney is also the person who, at the end of the day, decides whether to dismiss your DUI charge without prejudice, meaning you cannot be charged with a DUI for the subject offense ever again (or with prejudice), meaning you can be charged should you re-offend.
A DUI diversion program is offered only once in a lifetime. If you fail to complete it or re-offend, you will not be offered the opportunity again.
The Benefits of a DUI Diversion Program
The major benefit of a DUI diversion program is that successful completion will keep a criminal conviction off of your record. You should know, however, that there is a record of your arrest and completion of a DUI diversion program. Should you be arrested for a subsequent DUI, it will be considered your second, because the first arrest will still count.
A DUI diversion program will also keep you from being incarcerated, which may help you keep your job. If you complete the program and have no conviction on your criminal record, it may eliminate the potential challenges regarding education, employment, and loans you might otherwise face.
How Skilled Legal Counsel Can Help
When the decision of offering you the opportunity to participate in a DUI diversion program rests with the prosecuting attorney, you need to work with a criminal defense attorney who has a good reputation and relationships with prosecutors.
Not only can experienced legal counsel help you seek approval for a DUI diversion program, but your attorney can also discuss with the prosecuting attorney the terms of the agreement. Moreover, if your criminal defense attorney is invested in helping you succeed, your chances of reaching your desired result can be improved.
DUI/DWI Defense Attorney
in Kansas City, Missouri
I am a DUI/DWI attorney. Because that is my focus at Guilfoil Law Group, I not only devote all of my time to defending people charged with DUI offenses, but I spend it keeping myself informed of the changing laws and opportunities I can use in defense of my clients. This singular focus not only makes me a skilled DUI defense attorney, but also gives me standing as an author, speaker, and presenter on DUI law.
If you have been arrested for a DUI in Kansas City, including the counties of Jackson, Platte, and Clay, or elsewhere in Missouri, contact me to discuss your defense and qualifications for participation in a DUI diversion program.