What is Kansas’ DUI Diversion Program?
When people are arrested for and charged with DUI offenses, they are subject to criminal prosecution by default. However, a first-time offender whose DUI charges don’t include harming anyone can enter the state’s diversion program. The avenue makes it possible to have all charges dismissed upon program completion.
The program has no restrictions based on BAC levels, and criminal defense lawyers in Overland Park highly recommend it for first-time offenders. Through the program, accused individuals undergo rehabilitation, helping them reduce their chances of becoming habitual offenders.
How Does the DUI Diversion Program Work?
The Kansas DUI diversion program is not a “get out of jail free” card, but it can dramatically reduce the consequences of a DUI charge, which include the following:
- Loss of driving privileges
- Potential jail time
- Hefty fines
The DUI diversion program can prevent your first-time mistake on the road from severely impacting your life. However, eligibility criteria exist, with only some offenders getting accepted into the program. Skilled DUI lawyers in Overland Park can evaluate your case and help you arrange your entry into the program by working closely with the prosecution.
Taking a Guilty Plea
To be eligible to enter the DUI diversion program, you must agree to plead guilty and serve a community service sentence. You also must adhere to a series of conditions to have your case dismissed without a criminal conviction. The program also requires that you agree to be supervised for one year.
The diversion program is significantly similar to probation at the surface, but if you complete the program, the charge is dismissed, and you won’t have a conviction on your record. However, the DUI charge and diversion program will continue to show on your driving record.
Failure to follow the program’s rules will have the charges reinstated, no matter how long you have been in the program.
What is the Eligibility for the Kansas DUI Diversion Program?
First-time DUI offenders who wish to enroll in the DUI diversion program must meet a range of eligibility criteria, such as the following:
- Breath alcohol content (BAC) test results within a reasonable range
- No previous DUI convictions, as you only get one chance at the diversion program
- Your charges don’t include bodily injury or death
- You complied with police requests and commands
- You’re not a Commercial Driver’s License holder
- You don’t have any previous convictions or have never enrolled in any diversion program of any kind
Entry into the diversion program is at the discretion of the prosecution. Prosecutors can decide whether or not to place the offer on the table. You must portray seriousness and willingness to enroll in the program. Work with experienced Overland Park DUI attorneys who understand the ins and outs of the process to fight for a favorable outcome.
What Conditions Must I Fulfill in a DUI Diversion Program?
The DUI diversion program can be beneficial if you’re eligible. Once accepted into the program, you must abide by the following set of conditions to avoid having the charges restored:
Undergo Drug and Alcohol Evaluation
You must undergo a drug and alcohol evaluation at your own cost from a certified provider in the state. The provider will give recommendations regarding treatment, and you will be required to stick by them. For example, you may have to:
- Attend AA meetings
- Go for a one-day educational program
- Submit to frequent urine tests
- Participate in outpatient treatment
- Go to the DUI Victim Panel, even if your driver’s license has been suspended in the administrative proceeding
Pay Related Fines
Your enrollment into a DUI diversion program is contingent on paying all the fines and fees related to your case. The costs must be paid upfront, usually between $750 and $1,500.
Waive Your Right to Undergo Trial and Sixth Amendment Rights
Once you agree to enroll in the DUI diversion program, you must give up your right to be tried in a court of law for the offense, including a jury trial. If you’re removed from the diversion program for violating any of the conditions, you won’t be able to have a jury trial if the prosecution reinstates your charges.
You will also have to waive your rights to confront witnesses as afforded in the Sixth Amendment. That means your Overland Park DUI lawyers won’t have a chance to cross-examine the officers or even test the evidence. Consult your lawyers about the impact of waiving your rights before enrolling in the program.
Abstain from Alcohol and Drug Use
Once you enroll in the diversion program, you must keep off drugs and alcohol for the contract period, usually 12 months. You will undergo random urine analyses and breath tests to verify your abstinence. Failing any test puts you at risk of being removed from the program and prosecuted for the initial DUI charges.
Avoid Legal Trouble for 12 Months
You must stay out of legal trouble for one year to maintain your enrollment in the diversion program and get the case dismissed. Any legal misgivings or contact with law enforcement for the wrong reasons could have you removed from the program and your charges reinstated.
While these are the most common conditions for the DUI diversion program, your coordinator may stipulate more depending on the case specifics. Check with your lawyers for additional requirements you should expect to meet.
A Skilled DUI Lawyer Helping You Enroll in the Diversion Program
If you’re facing DUI charges in Kansas for the first time, you could avoid the steep penalties and consequences of a conviction by enrolling in the DUI diversion program.
Skilled DUI attorneys in Overland Park, KS, can evaluate your eligibility and work closely with the prosecutors to have the charges dismissed if you fulfill the program’s requirements.
Barnds Law, LLC, is a reputable firm hosting skilled family lawyers in Overland Park. We believe in fighting for favorable legal solutions for families. Your first DUI offense should not imprison you and separate you from your family. Let us work with you to create a strategy that can have the charges dropped or penalties reduced. Call us at (913) 514-0909 to schedule a consultation.