Although fewer than 4,000 people are arrested for drunk driving on a daily basis, that doesn’t mean you’re invincible. If you choose to drink and drive, chances are that you will eventually pay the price in one way or another. Those who are arrested for operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol for the first time may be eligible for what’s known as a DUII diversion program.
Diversion programs essentially allow a first-time DUI offender to plead guilty or no contest to their crime without having to serve time in jail. Instead, individuals have to successfully complete the DUI diversion program requirements; if they do, the charges against them will be dismissed or even expunged.
That sounds simple enough, but DUI diversion program requirements can be restrictive. Completion of this program is not easy or inexpensive. And unfortunately, participants may make mistakes while they’re in the program that can jeopardize their eligibility to partake. This may mean that the individual has to face the original consequences of their crime. If you are facing DUII charges and are determined to take part in a diversion program, you’ll want to avoid the following mistakes.
- Not Taking DUI Diversion Program Requirements Seriously: Each state maintains its own set of DUI diversion program requirements. But the universal aspect to these programs it that participants must complete the requirements in order to have the charges against them dismissed. If you don’t follow the rules, your eligibility to be part of the program can be revoked. Failing to stay sober or not paying the fee for one of the program requirements can cause this to occur. It’s important that when you agree to participate in a diversion program that you are well aware of the requirements you need to complete and that you’re dedicated to finishing the program successfully. Otherwise, you could face much harsher punishments for your crime.
- Not Asking For an Extension: Typically, DUI diversion program requirements need to be completed within a certain time frame. However, certain exceptions may be made if a diversion program participant requests an extension within the last 30 days of their program. If the individual in question is very likely to complete the program if given the extra time, the court may choose to extend the limit so that they can successfully do so. To ensure that these measures are performed as directed, it’s best to have help from DUII attorneys.
- Automatically Opting to Participate: This is a tricky one. On the surface, a DUII diversion program sounds like the best option for anyone who is eligible. In many cases, that’s true. It can allow you to eliminate the possibility of serving time in jail and having to endure the future consequences of being convicted of this crime. However, there may be other options available to you that can lessen the burden caused by diversion programs. Your lawyer may not even recommend that you participate in a diversion program if it’s clear that you won’t be able to follow the rules and complete the program in its entirety. Consulting at-length with your DUII attorney is the way to determine whether or not a diversion program will represent the best course of action for you and your family.
If you’ve recently been arrested for a DUII and have questions about your diversion program eligibility, we’re here to help. Contact our offices today for further information.