Pretrial diversion programs exist to help offenders receive treatment for the problem that caused the crime instead of just receiving punishment for committing the crime itself. Often, putting first-time, non-violent offenders into the prison system just compounds the problem and helps to create habitual offenders instead of discouraging future offenses. Pretrial diversion programs offer an effective and less costly way to handle these types of offenses and are proven to reduce recidivism.
Oklahoma’s DUI Diversion program is a pretrial diversion program for first-time felony offense DUIs. The state created this program to keep first-time offenders out of jail and help them get the treatment that they need. If you are eligible for Oklahoma’s DUI Diversion program you will be required to attend drug and alcohol counseling classes at your own expense rather than go to jail along with any other requirements that are applied to you, including an ignition interlock requirement. If you complete the program you will not be convicted of a DUI.
Not all DUI offenders are eligible for Oklahoma’s DUI Diversion program. You won’t be eligible if:
- You have a violent crime conviction.
- You have been in a drug court program in the last five years.
- You have prior felony charges or convictions.
The information about the Oklahoma DUI diversion program varies from county to county. Your best bet is to contact your county diversion office or an attorney for the most accurate and current information about the necessary steps to participate in the program and if you qualify. A DUI doesn’t have to be a blot on your record forever, you can make restitution and receive treatment and gain a second chance through a diversion program.
There have been very successful diversion programs instituted across the nation that have statistically proven the truth of their effectiveness. Not all states have them, and within each state not all counties or districts have them. There are detractors who consider them ineffective or even unconstitutional. However, the rising popularity and quantitative proof of their usefulness has quieted many naysayers.