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Can pretrial diversion be an option for a California DUI charge?

As a successful professional, you probably never expected that you would find yourself in a situation that involved the police. For the most part, you’ve probably tried your best to stay on the right side of the law. After all, getting arrested and going through criminal proceedings can have dire implications for your career trajectory and future success.

If you were recently arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI), you may desperately want to avoid embarrassment and reduce the long-term consequences of those charges on your career and other aspects of your life.

Don’t make the mistake of pleading guilty before you look into all of your options. In some circumstances, a solid defense may be available. Other times, pretrial diversion could help mitigate the impact of impaired driving charges.

How does pretrial diversion work in California?

California law specifically provides for people to avoid criminal court through pretrial diversion if their criminal charges directly relate to verifiable mental health issues. For many years, interpretations of this rule excluded impaired driving charges and other substance-related infractions. However, recent precedent has opened the door for those facing a California DUI to potentially ask for pretrial diversion because of a substance abuse issue.

If you struggle with alcohol addiction, it’s possible that you might qualify for pretrial diversion. Not only would that save you the embarrassment of actual criminal proceedings, provided that you complete the necessary treatment and other terms set by the courts, but you could also potentially expunge your record later so that there won’t be any official criminal record related to your arrest. The treatment involved in your pretrial division could help you regain control over your habits as well.

Handling a DUI case on your own can leave you vulnerable

Trying to build a defense against a criminal charge without experienced legal advice can mean that you make mistakes or that you misinterpret either the law or precedent in a way that the courts won’t accept.

Especially if you’re hoping for special consideration as part of your defense, as is the case with a request for pretrial diversion, having the assistance of a professional may potentially make the difference between an issue that haunts you for years and one that you can resolve successfully in your favor.