Interviewer: Are there diversion programs in Arizona for DUI and how hard are they to get into and what can do they do for you?
Mike: There really are no diversion programs for DUIs in Arizona, but there are diversion programs for other types of crime. Some, depending on the court, or the jurisdiction, the case come from, is whether diversion is a possibility or not. Diversion is essentially a type of program where the state is willing to dismiss all the charges against you if you complete a program.
A diversion program can be many different things. It could be community service, it could be a combination of paying community service, paying a fine, a long community service, it could also be attending classes. For example, in city courts and other courts in the valley, if an underage person is caught consuming alcohol, it is very common to get a diversion offer and what that means is that if they take alcohol classes and they successfully complete them and if they should provide proof to the prosecutor then sometimes they can be eligible to have that charge completely wiped from their record like it never happened.
Interviewer:I don’t know if you call it diversion, but I think when you get, for instance, a speeding ticket, you can go to a driving class and get maybe the fine waived or the points waived. Is that a form of diversion?
Mike: Yes, you can call that a form of diversion. When you get a speeding ticket, if you haven’t taken driving school within two years, then it’s possible to take a defense driving school and have that wipe your record. So that is a form of a diversion. Other types of diversion, in some jurisdictions, for example, in Scottsdale City Court, if somebody is charged with domestic violence of some sort, maybe disorderly conduct domestic violence where a married couple or people who lived together who are dating get into an argument, instead of having domestic violence offense on their criminal record forever an experienced defense attorney can approach the prosecutor and try to get a diversion plea offer essentially where you plead guilty and agree to do maybe domestic violence counseling and if you successfully complete the counseling and the classes, if you do all of that, then the state will, basically, dismiss the plea agreement and take the charges off your record like it never happened. And diversion offers are very, very good for someone who does not want a conviction on their criminal history.