In 2013 the Alabama legislature passed an act which authorized municipalities to establish a “pre-trial diversion program” for DUI cases. Several municipalities have passed a diversion ordinance, which applies to several types of cases. A diversion program is a form of what I call “reverse probation”. The person typically undergoes a series of obligations like counselling, treatment, drug and alcohol random testing, community service and a host of other things. After doing these things for a specified period of time and after an admission of guilt of the DUI, then the individual’s DUI case will be dismissed on the payment of court costs along with many other fees. Sounds like a steal of a deal, right? NOT SO FAST! For every DUI arrest that has occurred after July 1, 2018, if a citizen undergoes a diversion program they are required to have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle for a period of six months, or the length of the diversion program, whichever period is longer. The citizen pays for the installation of the interlock device, the monthly fees associated with the interlock, and has to take the device in for maintenance monthly. The diversion program may require the person to plead guilty to the DUI in order to enter the diversion program. This can have very negative results with certain people. In addition, most DUI cases have attached to them an administrative driver’s license case that is totally separate from the DUI criminal case. Unless the citizen takes the correct legal steps to stop the driver’s license from being suspended, then the license will be suspended for 90 days, 1 year, 3 years or longer, depending on the previous DUI arrest and/or conviction record. The DUI case may have a valid legal defense. There may not have been sufficient cause to pull the vehicle over in the first place. The roadblock may not be constitutional. The deprivation period prior to the breath test may have been insufficient.
If you are arrested for DUI, SEEK THE ADVICE OF AN EXPERIENCED DUI ATTORNEY within 10 days of the arrest date. Some courts, like the City of Huntsville, Alabama set the DUI arraignment court date the very next day after the DUI arrest, before the person has had an opportunity to analyze their situation. You can always plead “not guilty” and maybe change your plea to guilty but it is most often very difficult to change a guilty plea to “not guilty”.
Crumbley-Blackwell-Price Attorneys is VERY experienced DUI LAW FIRM. Phillip B. Price is the only attorney in North Alabama who is Board Certified in DUI defense. Contact us to evaluate your DUI situation.
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