In light of the severe legal consequences, a DUI charge in Kansas can be one of the most difficult situations a person may face. In an effort to minimize consequences, defendants can enter into the Kansas DUI Diversion Program.
In a nutshell, diversion is a program whereby you agree to abide by certain terms and conditions for a period of time and the prosecutor agrees that, if you do, the charges against you will be dismissed. Diversion is not considered a conviction (unless you get another DUI) and diversion does not require that you spend any time in custody. Diversion should be considered only after an attorney has reviewed all of the police reports, video recordings, audio recordings, background data on the breath, blood or urine testing device (maintenance logs, calibration logs, testing logs, etc), as well as any other physical, forensic or medical evidence, and you have discussed all the evidence and options with your lawyer.
What Can a DUI Diversion Program Accomplish?
First things first, it is important to understand that entering into a diversion program is not a so- called “get out of jail free” card. For instance, if your license has already suffered an administrative suspension, then entering a diversion agreement will not restore your license.
Additionally, if you are arrested for another DUI charge in the future, your diversion will be viewed as a prior conviction, marking you as a multiple offender subject to enhanced penalties for the second or subsequent DUI. However, for those who have no prior DUI convictions, entering into a program can be beneficial if you also meet the following seven requirements.
Undergoing Drug and Alcohol Evaluation
Step 1. You have to obtain a drug and alcohol evaluation from one of the certified providers in the state. The evaluation often costs in the neighborhood of $150.00. Whatever the evaluation recommends as far as treatment goes will be required of you while on diversion. The recommendations of the evaluation may require you to attend a one-day educational class, attend AA meetings, go to the DUI Victim Panel put on by MADD, participate in outpatient treatment and/or be subjected to frequent urine testing. Even if your driver’s license has been suspended, you are still expected to attend the required meetings.
Paying Related Fines
Step 2. Your enrollment in a DUI diversion program is contingent on paying all of the fines and fees involved. The fees can range anywhere from $750 to $1,500. More often than not, these costs must be paid upfront.
Abstaining from Drug and Alcohol Use
Step 3. While enrolled in DUI diversion, you will be required to completely abstain from drugs and alcohol for the period of the diversion agreement, usually 12 months. To verify your abstention, you will be subject to randomized urine analyses or breath tests. If you fail any one of these tests, it is probable that you will be removed from the program and prosecuted for your initial charge.
Waiving Your Right to a Trial
Step 4. To become eligible for enrollment in a diversion agreement, you must waive your Constitutional rights to a trial, including a jury trial. This means that if you are removed from the program for a violation, you will not be able to have a jury trial if the prosecution is reinstated.
Confirming the Accuracy of the Police Report
Step 5. Essentially, enrollment in a diversion program is an indirect admission of guilt. Another requirement of diversion is stipulating to the accuracy of the arrest report and breath or blood test results. If you violate the terms of the diversion program, this stipulation makes it almost automatic that you will be convicted of the DUI charge.
Waiving Sixth Amendment Rights
Step 6. One of the other conditions of a DUI diversion is the waiving of your right to confront witnesses as afforded to you by the Sixth Amendment. You are not going to get to have your attorney cross-examine the officers or otherwise test the evidence.
Avoiding Legal Trouble for 12 Months
Step 7. Lastly, to maintain your enrollment in a Kansas DUI diversion program and ultimately get the case dismissed, you must stay out of legal trouble for a period of one year. Any type of contact with law enforcement, such as an arrest, may cause you to be removed from the agreement.
Are you a Good Candidate for this Program?
We encourage you to contact our office for a free consultation so that we can help you decide if this is the right course of action for you. Please call 913-906-9633 today.