Drunk driving convictions can come with some harsh penalties, but there are times when you might not have to deal with the worst sentence possible. Many drunk driving cases are resolved before trial. One option for making this happen is to enter a pretrial diversion program. Even though some people might think these programs are an easy way out of the charge, they aren’t.
Any defendants who enter a pretrial diversion program must meet specific requirements to complete the program. If they don’t meet them, there is a chance that they might face more legal trouble. Here are some important things to remember about this possibility.
Purpose of pretrial diversion programs
Pretrial diversion programs are meant to help address criminal charges without making the defendant go through a trial. They often include elements that will help address underlying issues, such as drug addiction or alcohol dependency. These programs serve to help the person live a productive life outside of a correctional environment while still providing oversight and restrictions that serve as punishment for the offense committed.
The terms of the pretrial diversion program will vary, but they often include some very similar elements. These include the need to pass alcohol and drug tests on a random basis. Most people will need to be employed for the duration of the program and might be required to attend meetings or get treatment for addictions or dependencies.
Positive effects of pretrial diversion
These programs can provide relief for the criminal court dockets, which are usually overcrowded. By reducing the load through these programs, the courts can focus on the truly severe crimes while ensuring that crimes like drunk driving don’t go unpunished.
For the defendants, the primary benefit of these programs is that they can remain out of jail or prison and maintain a relatively normal life. In many cases, when they successfully complete the program, the charge is dropped. In this way the programs provide a second chance for defendants committed to making positive changes.
People who are interested in pretrial diversion programs should find out if they qualify because many have a very strict set of requirements. If such programs are unavailable, there might be other options to consider.