-The Jefferson County DUI Deferred Prosecution Program
The purpose of the Jefferson County DUI Deferred Prosecution Program is to provide individuals charged with driving under the influence for the first time an opportunity to take responsibility for their actions by recognizing the serious nature of a DUI offense and the danger it creates for themselves and our community. The program will assess any issues involving alcohol or drug use that the first time DUI offender may face and then address those issues through education, treatment, and supervision. Once the first time offender has gained a better understanding of the potential consequences of their actions, they will learn strategies for positive behavioral change and decision making so that they will not put themselves or the public at risk in the future by driving while intoxicated.
If the offender successfully completes all of the requirements of the Jefferson County DUI Deferred Prosecution Program, the DUI charge will be dismissed. If the offender fails to successfully complete the program, the Court will enter a final adjudication on the offender’s guilty plea to the charge of DUI and they will be sentenced accordingly by the Court.
Eligibility Requirements For The DUI Deferred Prosecution Program:
- You must be charged with DUI under Alabama Code §32-5A-191 subsections (a) or (b).
- You must never have been previously arrested for, charged with, or convicted of a DUI offense in your lifetime.
- Your blood alcohol content must have been less than .15 at the time of the arrest.
- You had no passengers under the age of 18 years in the vehicle at the time of the DUI arrest.
- You must have been cooperative and compliant with all law enforcement officers during the initial traffic stop, the DUI arrest, the blood alcohol content testing, and the booking process.
- You must have had a valid driver’s license at the time of the DUI arrest.
- You do not have a Commercial Driver’s License.
- Your DUI charge is not related to any accident involving another vehicle, personal injury, or substantial property damage.
- Your arrest for DUI must not have occurred within a school zone, construction zone, or any similar area deemed to be a high safety risk area. Whether or not the area is a high safety risk is at the sole discretion of the District Attorney. Such areas may include, but are not limited to, residential neighborhoods during hours where residents are likely to be outdoors and highly congested areas where numerous people are at risk such as sports venues, parks, churches, community centers, shopping centers, etc.
- You must have no previous convictions arising from alcohol or drug use within three (3) years of the DUI arrest.
- You must not have any previous arrests or convictions for any crimes of violence or weapons offenses.
- You must have no prior felony convictions.
- You must have no more than three (3) incidents of moving traffic violations in the twelve (12) months immediately preceding the arrest for DUI.
- You must enter guilty pleas to all of the moving violation charges that accompany this DUI arrest (speeding, improper lane change, reckless driving, etc.) in order to be admitted into the DUI Deferred Prosecution Program.
- You must not have any other pending criminal charges that are unrelated to this DUI arrest.
Other Factors That May Be Considered By The District Attorney In Determining The Eligibility Of The Defendant
- Your refusal to submit a breath sample when asked to do so by the arresting officer.
- Your lifetime traffic history, especially moving violations.
- Your degree of intoxication or impairment at the time of the arrest (you were unconscious/asleep behind the wheel, you crossed over into oncoming traffic, you turned or pulled in front of oncoming traffic, etc.).
- You attempted to elude the police during the traffic stop.
The DUI Deferred Prosecution Program Is Not A Right, It Is A Privilege. The District Attorney's Office Has Absolute Discretion Over Whether Or Not Your Application Will Be Granted.
- If your application is granted, you will be required to enter a plea of guilty in your DUI case and waive any rights to an appeal of your guilty plea before you enter into the deferred program. The District Court Judge will accept your plea, but will withhold adjudication and sentencing pending your successful completion of the DUI Deferred Prosecution Program.
- The Jefferson County DUI Deferred Program requires that you complete an intake assessment immediately upon admission to the Program. Failure to complete the intake assessment and meet with the Court Referral Officer within 7 days of your admission will result in a final adjudication of guilt in your case.
- In order to complete the DUI Deferred Prosecution Program, you must pay all program fees and court costs, comply with all drug and alcohol testing and treatment requirements of the Program, and abide by all rules and regulations contained in this application. The DUI Deferred Prosecution Program is administered as a “ZERO TOLERANCE” program – noncompliance with ANY of the rules and requirements will result in a final adjudication of guilt in your case.
- The minimum term for completion of the DUI Deferred Prosecution Program is a period of six (6) months, but this period may be extended for up to one (1) year if deemed to be necessary by the Court.
- Once all obligations and requirements of the DUI Deferred Prosecution Program are met, you will have completed the Program and your guilty plea will be set aside and the case will be dismissed upon payment of court costs. If you do not successfully complete the program, you will be returned to the District Court for final adjudication and sentencing.