What are your options for DUI? Consider the following…
A general overview of driving under the influence is previously discussed here. As well, a discussion of roads blocks is found here. This article focuses only on driving under the influence of alcohol, and does not apply to driving under the influence of other intoxicants.
In 2014, the Mississippi Legislature created legislation which provides new options for those charged with DUI involving alcoholic beverages. In general, non-adjudication refers to the court of jurisdiction withholding a conviction in lieu of the defendant adhering to terms and conditions imposed by the court.
Under the DUI non-adjudication statute, the Department of Public Safety suspends your license for 120 days. In the alternative, you can apply for an interlock-restricted license. This requires installation of an ignition-interlock device in your vehicle. The ignition-interlock device is simply a breathalyzer requiring you to blow under the legal limit to start your vehicle.
After the suspension, with the terms and conditions of the non-adjudication complete, there will be no record of the charge. It is as if the offense had never happened.
Qualifying for a DUI non-adjudication
Non-adjudication requires the applicant to qualify certain conditions. Mississippi Code Annotated, Section 63-11-30(14), spells out these qualifications.
First, the applicant has to complete all terms and conditions imposed by the court. This includes mandatory attendance at an alcohol safety education program. Also, this includes payment of “fines, penalties, and assessments,” in addition to a $250 fee for the Interlock Device Fund to the State Treasury. The Court of jurisdiction requires an applicant or their attorney to notify the court that the applicant has completed the terms and conditions.
Eligibility is only available to non-commercial drivers. This statute can not apply to commercial driver’s license holders.
Further, eligibility is only available to first-time offenders. This must be the first DIU you are pleading guilty to or have been found guilty of (and that it is also the first time applying for non-adjudication).
Additionally, the statute requires a “justification as to why non-adjudication is appropriate.” This is typically a hurdle that is overlooked. In Mississippi, there is little public transportation. Usually judges recognize the ability to drive is vital to a person’s income and productivity.
Hire an attorney
This article is for information purposes only. Please see an attorney to explore if you have any other options. Although you may qualify for non-adjudication, you have the right to a trial. You also have the right to appeal. You waive these rights when you seek non-adjudication.
If you have any questions, call us to see if we can be of any assistance to you or someone you know.
Richard Poole Noel, III