Pretrial diversion is an alternative to traditional criminal sentencing that could be just what you need to avoid the consequences of a DUI conviction. It is a chance to have your DUI charge dismissed and removed from your criminal record.
Pretrial diversion has certain eligibility requirements, as well as requirements once you are in the program. Knowing these and how to be considered for the program is best served with the help of an experienced DeKalb County DUI attorney.
What is Pretrial Diversion?
A pretrial diversion program is designed to give non-violent first-time offenders an opportunity at rehabilitation rather than punishment. This is done through various corrective or treatment programs depending on the charge.
In the case of a driving under the influence (DUI), you will be required to go through treatment for alcohol and/or drug abuse, as well as the possibility of classes about your driving. The DeKalb diversion program lasts a minimum of 6 months but can be longer depending on your progress or the judge's orders.
Pretrial Diversion Requirements
Pretrial diversion comes with specific requirements that must be followed or you will fail out of the program.
- Fees: There is a one-time administration fee, a monthly probation fee, and weekly fees for any courses that you are required to take. The program is designed to allow you to pay off those fees over the 6 month diversion period.
- Legal Representation: You are required to have an attorney present at the orientation session for diversion. Our skilled attorneys can help.
- Employment Requirement: You are required to be employed during your diversion unless you are in school.
- Community Service: The amount of community service you will have to perform is set by the Assistant District Attorney.
- Successful Completion of All Programs: You must successfully complete any programs to which you are assigned.
The requirements are meant to rehabilitate you, instead of punishing you. Rehabilitation means that you are "treated" instead of penalized in order to lead you back to crime-free lifestyle.
What Happens If I Succeed?
If you make it all the way through the pretrial diversion program, your charges will be dismissed. This means that you will not have a conviction on your record. You can be free of the criminal penalties you would otherwise face, and you can honestly say you were not convicted of a crime.
You can also apply to have your arrest record expunged after successful completion of the program.
What Happens If I Fail?
If you fail to complete all of the requirements of the pretrial diversion program, your case will be forwarded to the Assistant District Attorney for possible prosecution. You may be ineligible to participate in pretrial diversion in the future and face a criminal conviction as a result.
Consult a DeKalb DUI Attorney
Never assume that just because you were charged that you are guilty. An experienced DeKalb County DUI attorney knows Georgia DUI law and can help you with your pretrial diversion. If you qualify, you can avoid a criminal record. Contact us today for a free consultation.