Martin & Kent, L.L.C. Martin & Kent, L.L.C.

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Tiger Woods seeks a diversionary program for DUI charge

Illinois golf fans may be interested to learn about the developments in Tiger Woods' DUI case. Rather than face a criminal conviction, Woods is seeking to attend a DUI school in Florida. The state allows first-time offenders to seek a pre-trial diversion program.

Woods was initially arrested in late May of 2017. He famously failed a field sobriety test, unable to complete the physical requirements of the test. Although alcohol was not found in his system, he did have a combination of pain killers, sleep aides and marijuana. In Florida, driving under the influence of narcotics carries the same penalties as driving under the influence of alcohol.

A pre-trial diversion program takes applications from charged individuals before a conviction occurs. If accepted, the program provides a list of conditions to meet. The conditions normally include impaired driving school, payment of fines and court costs. In some cases, offenders must pay for a vehicle interlock device. If the device detects alcohol, the vehicle will not start.

The diversion program acts as a form of pre-trial probation. If the applicant successfully completes the terms of the diversion, no conviction is recorded. In some states, if a conviction was obtained, it is expunged. If the program is unsuccessful, the individual will be tried for the offense. If the offender is subsequently arrested, the diversion will count as a prior offense for sentencing purposes.

When a motorist has been arrested for driving while intoxicated, serious penalties may ensue. A DUI attorney may be able to explain the legal options to such a defendant.

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