When you’re facing DUI charges, the possibility of going to jail is probably on your mind. You may wonder if it’s possible to avoid this outcome because going to jail can seriously disrupt your life, which can cost you your job and precious time with your loved ones. Fortunately, you can seek a better outcome by pursuing alternative sentencing for DUI.
What Is Alternative Sentencing?
Alternative sentencing refers to the reduced DUI penalties a judge can apply to someone who enters a state-sponsored post-plea alternative sentencing program.
Similar to deferred adjudication, an alternative sentencing program requires that a criminal defendant plead guilty to their charges. In exchange, the defendant has the opportunity to complete a program that addresses topics such as drug treatment, mental health, and other issues that may have contributed to the circumstances of the DUI.
Upon successfully completing an alternative sentencing program, the judge either orders time served (avoiding jail) or dismisses the case.
Who Is Eligible for a DUI Alternative Sentencing Program?
The best candidates for a DUI alternative sentencing program are defendants who don’t have a prior criminal history and are facing their first DUI charges. That said, nearly anyone can qualify for a program as long as they weren’t convicted of a crime of violence (murder, assault of a child, aggravated battery, etc.) within the last 10 years.
Other factors can also affect your eligibility for a DUI alternative sentencing program, such as a history of failing to complete prior programs or multiple DUI charges that demonstrate a pattern of behavior.
What Happens If I Fail the Alternative Sentencing Program?
If you are offered an alternative sentencing program and don’t complete it, you may be resentenced on your original charges. That means you may face the penalties you tried to avoid by pursuing an alternative sentencing program.
If you do not satisfactorily complete the program, show that you failed to benefit from it, engage in criminal conduct, violate the terms of your program, you can face this outcome. This is why it’s important that you have an experienced criminal defense attorney who can explain what to expect and your obligations when pursuing an alternative sentencing program for DUI.
Contact Us for Legal Assistance
If you are facing a DUI charge in Illinois, it is essential to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you understand your options and determine the best course of action for your case.
At the Law Offices of Steven Fine, we have extensive experience representing clients facing DUI charges and can help you navigate the legal system.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation.