“I have your back”
The Monroe County District Attorney's Office established a Felony DWI Diversion Program. If you successfully complete the program, your felony DWI charge will be reduced to a misdemeanor. This program is only available in Monroe County.
The Diversion Program is typically available to people charged with a second DWI, and who were not involved in an accident or some other unpalatable conduct. Behavior such as breath test refusals, verbally harassing police, physically assaulting police, having an unusually high BAC, or having children in the car, may all result in you being denied admission to the program.
If you are accepted into the Diversion Program, I will waive your case to Monroe County Court. Your case will not stay in the local court. You must then contact Monroe County Pre-Trial Services Corporation by calling (585) 454-4411, and ask for an intake meeting. You must then also schedule a substance abuse assessment at Unity. Don't go somewhere else - use Unity. Once we have a court date in County Court, I will notify you, and you get arraigned before a County Court Judge. You will plead upfront to a felony DWI, but you will not be sentenced.
Before you are sentenced, you have a chance to earn a reduction to a misdemeanor DWI by completing the Diversion Program. The Felony DWI Diversion Program is not easy. It typically lasts between six months and a year. During that time you must:
- Surrender your drivers license an not operate any motor vehicles.
- Abstain from the use of alcohol and drugs.
- Submit to regular screens for alcohol and drugs.
- Engage in treatment as directed by your Diversion Counselor.
- Appear in court as directed; usually once a month.
- Not be rearrested.
If you violate any of these conditions, your participation in the Diversion Program will be terminated, and you will be sentenced on the felony charge.
Imagine for a moment trying to add one, two, or even three substance abuse treatment appointments every week to your schedule, and then imagine not being able to drive. It is difficult, but it allows you to avoid a felony conviction.
If you successfully complete the Felony DWI Diversion Program, you will be able to withdraw your plea to the felony charge and plead to a misdemeanor DWI with the following sanctions:
- 3 years probation
- If your last DWI conviction was within 5 years of your most recent arrest, either 5 days in jail, 2 jail weekends, or 30 days of community service.
- Fine and surcharge set by the court (usually about $900.00).
- 3 years of an Ignition Interlock Device installed on any car you own, register, or operate.
- Completion of the Impaired Driver Program, if eligible.
- Attendance at a Victim Impact Panel.
- If your prior conviction happened more than five years before your current arrest, your license revocation will be at least 6 months. If your last DWI was within five years, your license revocation will be at least one year from the date of sentencing. Even after these time periods pass, you will need written permission from your Probation Officer and the Judge before you can apply for a drivers license.
Once you take the plea to that misdemeanor DWI, you will be directed to undergo a pre-sentence investigation. That investigation takes about 6-8 weeks, and once it is completed, we can return to court for sentencing.
If you are charged with a felony DWI in or near Rochester, NY, you will need an experienced attorney to help guide you. Feel free to call me, 7 days a week, at (585) 485-0025.