Kansas’s DUI Diversion Program

If you are charged with DUI in Kansas, you should rightly be concerned about the consequences.The loss of driving privileges, fines, and the potential of jail time for repeat offenders are the immediate possible outcomes. In the longer term, you need to consider the impact of a lifelong criminal record on employment, housing, immigration status, and so on.

The DUI diversion program in Kansas can reduce the impact of the consequences and help ensure that one mistake on the roads does not end up impacting your life too severely.

However, there are eligibility criteria and not everyone is accepted. You will almost certainly require the assistance of an experienced DUI attorney to help you arrange entry into the program by liaising closely with the prosecution.

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What is the purpose of the Kansas DUI diversion program?

DUI Diversion Program in Topeka, KansasSome people think that acceptance into the Kansas DUI diversion program is a “get out of jail free” card.

A diversion is a program whereby you agree to plead guilty and serve your penalty in the community by following a series of conditions in return for your case being dismissed and no criminal conviction. You will need to agree to be supervised for a year and fulfill numerous conditions, but you will not have to face the unwanted consequences of a DUI conviction.

Entry into a diversion program is not automatic and dependent upon meeting the eligibility requirements outlined below. If you complete the program, the prosecutor will dismiss the case against you after one year.

While no conviction appears on your criminal record, your Kansas driving record will continue to show that you were charged with DUI and completed a diversion program.

Note that if you incurred an administrative license suspension from the State of Kansas, you will not be free to drive again until you have completed it. This will remain in place but there will be no criminal driving penalty (the two are treated separately in Kansas).

Also, even if you complete the diversion program but are arrested for another DUI charge in the future, your diversion will be viewed as a prior conviction. This will make you a repeat offender and liable for harsher penalties, including jail time.

Who qualifies for the Kansas DUI diversion program?

To qualify for the Kansas DUI diversion program, you need to meet a range of eligibility criteria, including:

  • No prior DUI convictions: your charge must be for a first offense – you get one chance only at a DUI diversion program in Kansas

  • No prior convictions or diversions of any kind is a general requirement
  • Nobody was injured or killed in your DUI incident
  • Breath test results within a reasonable range (not excessively high)
  • You complied with police requests and commands
  • You do not hold a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)

The decision of whether to admit you to a diversion program rests entirely with the prosecutor. For this reason, it is advisable to engage a DUI attorney to negotiate on your behalf and try to persuade the prosecutor to permit you to join the program.

What rules must people on a DUI diversion program abide by?

If accepted into the DUI diversion program in Kansas, you will need to pay a fee of between $800 and $1,500.

You will also have to abide by a set of conditions for a year. These are typically the following:

  • Accept responsibility for your crime
  • Obtain an alcohol evaluation from an alcohol counselor
  • Possible attendance at an alcohol education class
  • Possible attendance at a DUI Victim Impact Panel
  • Not commit another criminal offense for 12 months
  • Abstain from alcohol for 12 months
  • Not attend establishments that serve alcohol for a year
  • Agree to random urine tests
  • Meet with a diversion monitor at least monthly

These rules are the most common ones but your diversion coordinator may stipulate other requirements depending on your situation. For instance, you may need to seek treatment (inpatient or outpatient) for alcohol problems.

Failure to follow these rules can mean that your case is reopened and you may be asked to appear in court to explain yourself.

Steps to start a DUI diversion program in Kansas

You understand the requirements and the rules of the DUI diversion program in Kansas. Following are the six steps that a person usually goes through to start and complete the program:

  1. Drug and alcohol evaluation: obtain a drug and alcohol evaluation from a certified provider, at your own cost. The treatment recommendations from this evaluation will be applied to your diversion period and affect the rules you must abide by (see above).
  2. Pay the fines: as part of your punishment, you will need to pay fines/fees amounting to $800 – $1,500.
  3. Waive your right to a trial: you have a constitutional right to a trial, which you must waive to be eligible for the diversion program (it will be waived if you are called back to court for violating the conditions of the diversion program).
  4. Confirm the accuracy of the police report: you will be asked to verify the contents of the police report, including the veracity of the breath or blood test results, thereby essentially admitting your guilt. This will result in an automatic conviction if you violate the conditions of the diversion program.
  5. Waive sixth amendment rights: you must also waive your right to confront witnesses and confirm that your attorney will not cross-examine officers or otherwise test the evidence against you.
  6. Abide by all conditions for 12 months: to maintain your enrollment in the program and get the case dismissed, you must avoid violating the conditions – or you could find yourself back in court and facing a criminal record.

Call us at ITR Law in Topeka at 785 267 6115 if you need assistance with defending a DUI charge or have questions concerning the DUI diversion program.