With the warmer weather, vacations and people of all ages heading out for various activities during the summer in Mississippi, many will consume alcohol. If they are accused of getting behind the wheel after drinking, it can result in a charge of driving under the influence (DUI). Since a DUI conviction might lead to various penalties, including a driver’s license suspension, fines and jail, it is important to assess the available options.
What is nonadjudication and who is eligible?
Under Mississippi DUI law, certain individuals are eligible for nonadjudication. This means that the person can make a guilty plea or can wait until the trial is over and the court will withhold adjudication of guilt and issue a sentence. The defendant will then enter a nonadjudication program with various requirements that they must meet.
A person is only able to use nonadjudication once. They must complete the terms the court orders, including probation and entering an alcohol-safety program. It is not available to a commercial driver or a driver with a commercial learner’s permit. The person cannot have a previous conviction and cannot be facing any upcoming charges. The person must prove to the court why this would be a fair outcome.
It is beneficial because it avoids jail time and they will not have a record after the terms have been fulfilled. They do need to pay fines and court costs. If the person does not complete the program, they will be subject to penalties from the court.
Deciding on an effective DUI defense strategy may require experienced help
People charged with driving under the influence will be concerned about maintaining their driver’s license, avoiding an extended jail sentence and heavy fees. In some instances, there are justifiable defenses that can help with an acquittal like a misstep on the part of the officer or the absence of reasonable cause to make the traffic stop.
While it is always preferable to get an acquittal, it is also helpful to look at technical options like nonadjudication. Depending on the circumstances, this could be an effective strategy to deal with the DUI charge. Having support can help you to assess the case and decide which path to take to reach a favorable result.