Q: What's the difference between the Pre-Trial Diversion program for 1st offense DUI in LA vs. pleading under Article 894?
Upon receiving all of the discovery documentation regarding my 1st offense DUI arrest, my "attorney" concluded that he would not be able to get my DUI charge dismissed or reduced, therefore, my only option other than pleading guilty to the charges was to enroll in the DUI Pre-Trial Diversion program so that it would be expunged from my record upon the completion of the program. Then, (3 months into the program) I learn about Article 894, which I qualify for, and requires much fewer requirements (and money) to complete. So, I called my attorney's paralegal and asked if we could go that route instead of the diversion program, and she said, "Sure, no problem".
So, why would any legitimate attorney not recommend Article 894 over the extremely costly and strict Pre-Trial Diversion program? Or at the very least, inform their client of the option? I've already spent nearly $3000 in the program only to learn about this now. Am I justified to be upset at with my attorney at this point?
A: For 894 you plead guilty, then complete probation, including community service, probation supervision fee, safe driving class, substance abuse assessment & ignition interlock. Then your attorney has to file a Motion to Expunge the conviction, for which the Parish charges a big fat fee, and make one court appearance.
For Diversion, you do NOT plead guilty. As long as you complete the terms of Diversion. There is no conviction to expunge. There is however, a record of arrest to expunge.
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