Diversion for first time Kansas DUI offenders

As Manhattan DUI defense attorneys, we are often asked by clients whether there is any way to avoid a trial and the risk of a conviction. One possible option for clients charged with a first DUI is a diversion agreement. A diversion agreement is a contract between you and the prosecutor in which you agree to certain terms and the prosecutor agrees to dismiss the charges against you if you comply with the terms.

You will not have a DUI conviction on your driving record, but your record will show that you were charged with DUI and completed a diversion program. If you are charged with another DUI, the diversion is treated as a prior conviction so you will be subject to the penalties for a second offense.

Because a diversion agreement is not a conviction, your driver’s license will not be suspended as a criminal penalty. But it could still be suspended in the administrative proceeding.


A diversion agreement is a possibility only if:

  • You have not had a diversion agreement for a previous DUI charge;
  • You have not been convicted of or pleaded no contest to a previous DUI, including one in another state; and
  • During the time of your alleged DUI, you were not involved in an accident that resulted in a death or injury (even if you were the only one injured).

The decision to offer you a diversion agreement is completely up to the prosecutor. The prosecutor takes into consideration a number of factors including:

  • Whether you are likely to cooperate with and benefit from diversion.
  • Whether the diversion program is appropriate to your needs.
  • The impact of diversion on the community.
  • The recommendations of law enforcement.
  • Any special characteristics or circumstances you may have.
  • Any mitigating circumstances.

Requirements of diversion agreement

In the agreement, you will give up the right to a speedy trial and to a jury trial, and obtain in exchange the opportunity to avoid a DUI conviction. Most diversion agreements require the defendant to pay a fine or perform community service; attend an alcohol and drug safety action program or treatment program, or both; use no alcohol or drugs for a specified period; and report to a diversion coordinator or monitor to confirm continued compliance. The diversion agreement may impose additional requirements.

Consequences of failure to comply with agreement

If you complete the Kansas DUI diversion program, the criminal charge of driving under the influence is dismissed. However, failure to complete the program and fulfill all of the terms of your diversion contract can result in reinstatement of the criminal case against you. Additionally, you will be tried on stipulated facts, which means that you will have no opportunity to cross-examine witnesses, present your own evidence, or mount a defense.

Should you accept a diversion agreement?

It is a good idea to consult a knowledgeable Manhattan DUI attorney before entering into a diversion agreement. It may be a good choice, particularly if the prosecutor has a strong case against you. But fighting the charge may be a better choice if the prosecutor’s case is weak. As experienced DUI attorneys, we can help you evaluate your options. We provide each client a frank and honest assessment of his or her case so that the client can make a well informed decision. If a diversion agreement is in your best interests, as former DUI prosecutors, we can help you negotiate the terms.

To consult with one of our highly trained Manhattan DUI attorneys, give us a brief description of your case using the form on this page. We will respond promptly. Or if you prefer, call our office.

Addair Thurston Chtd.
Manhattan, Kansas DUI lawyers

900 Poyntz Ave.
Manhattan, Kansas 66502

725 N. Washington Street
Junction City, Kansas 66441