A bill making its way through the California legislature could allow some military veterans to avoid DUI convictions. Senate Bill 725 would make some veterans eligible for diversion programs for misdemeanor offenses, including DUI.
The bill would extend a similar measure adopted in 2014. That allows certain military veterans to complete a supervised treatment program in lieu of conviction. The current program treats veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, service-related traumatic brain injuries and service-related sexual trauma. Candidates can enter the program following a court conviction for certain crimes. The program eliminates their convictions following successful completion of treatment.
Active service personnel and returning military veterans can enter the diversion program. The initial legislation neither included nor exempted DUI convictions, so some veterans’ courts allow diversion, while others do not. The program accepts about 80% of applicants. Active-duty personnel make up about one-fourth of applicants.
Senate Bill 725 would specifically include misdemeanor intoxicated driving offenses. Veterans group support the measure to get service personnel into supervised treatment. The bill does not provide for unlimited or repeated diversions. Successful completion could allow service personnel to keep their military careers intact. Further, the bill does not impact the current DMV administrative process that follows a drunk driving arrest.
Ventura DUI attorney
If you’re arrested for DUI in Ventura, or anywhere else in Southern California, you need the assistance of an experienced DUI attorney. Robert Helfend provides exceptional criminal defense in drunk driving cases. He will help you navigate the complexities of the administrative and criminal processes.
Drunk driving penalties in California can be both expensive and time-consuming. They can have both immediate and long-term impacts on your life. When you correctly address a drunk driving charge, you can avoid legal and administrative complications.
Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura DUI case.
Photo Credit: 7th Army Training Command, via Flickr.com