Kimberly J. Benjamin, Founder & Managing Attorney
May 15. 2023.
DUI Diversion Program
A DUI diversion program is designed to help individuals charged with driving under the influence (DUI) for the first time. The program offers an alternative to traditional court proceedings, allowing those arrested for DUI to avoid jail time and complete a structured program focusing on rehabilitation and education. Individuals can have their first DUI charge dismissed or reduced by completing the program.
A savvy DUI attorney will know what options are available for your defense. Lawyers from the Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center could provide information, guidance, and representation if you face DUI or felony drug charges in Kansas City, MO.
Can You Get a Diversion on a DUI in Missouri?
Although you may be able to get a DUI diversion in the neighboring state of Kansas, on the Missouri side of Kansas City, you will be more likely offered a suspended imposition of sentence (SIS). It is a probationary period where you have to complete specified steps to completely dismiss the charges.
An SIS is an alternative to a full criminal conviction. It is a way to plead guilty without receiving any formal sentence or punishment. This option allows you to accept responsibility for a DUI charge but not have it recorded on your criminal record. It is available for a first DWI offense and can be availed only once in your lifetime.
In an SIS, the accused may be required to:
Avoid violating laws
Abstain from drinking alcohol (at least for a predetermined period)
Attend a DUI victim impact panel
Avoid places that serve alcohol, aside from restaurants
Take random urine tests to ensure compliance
You are required to complete all of the agreements when you are on Missouri’s equivalent of a diversion program. If you break the law or refuse a breath or blood test, your diversion agreement will be voided, and a sentence will be imposed.
It is also critical to note that not all counties in Missouri may offer the option of a suspended imposition of sentence for a first-offense DWI case. It may be a good idea to check with a qualified DWI lawyer to formalize the defense strategy for your case.
Kansas City DUI Diversion Program Requirements
The Kansas City DUI suspended imposition of sentence program is designed to help those accused of driving under the influence. These programs are not a matter of right and are offered at the court’s discretion. Applicants will be required to fulfill numerous conditions to be eligible for this program, which includes:
Having no prior DUI convictions
Completion of drug and alcohol evaluation
Attending a drug awareness or alcohol education class
Compliance with court orders
Payment of required fines or fees
If the defendant successfully completes the probation period, they will not be convicted of the DUI charge. This can benefit those facing severe penalties for DUI offenses and those who want to avoid a criminal record.
Can You Get a Diversion Twice in Kansas City?
This option is usually offered to first-time offenders only. Someone who has had a previous diversion or prior conviction on their criminal record will likely be denied a suspended imposition of sentence.
It’s vital to remember that if someone is convicted of a second offense of DWI within five years of the initial offense, their previous plea will be considered a prior guilty plea. Therefore, instead of receiving punishments as though it was your first offense, the penalties will be raised to the level of a subsequent DWI conviction.
How Long Will DUI Diversion Stay on Record in Kansas City?
In Kansas City, Missouri, a suspended imposition of sentence will be considered an open record as long as the case is pending. After completing the program requirements and the probation period, your case and record will be closed. This prevents the person from having a criminal sentence attached to their name.
A Kansas City DWI Attorney Can Help
If you are facing drug or DWI charges in Kansas City, having an experienced and knowledgeable drug lawyer on your side can make a massive difference in the outcome of your case. A qualified Kansas City drug lawyer can analyze the facts of your Kansas DUI case, evaluate the evidence against you, and help you build a strong defense.
The right criminal defense attorney can protect your rights and ensure you are treated fairly during the legal process. In addition, our seasoned lawyers can guide you through every step and give you peace of mind as they fight for justice on your behalf. We can also advise you on the right course of action regarding plea deals or other decisions related to your case.
Talk to an attorney at Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center for questions about a DWI or any related matter. Contact us to schedule an initial free consultation today!