At the beginning of 2022, the law regarding DUI diversion changed. DUIs are no longer eligible for diversion in California. Please contact our office with any questions. Email us at OR Call us at: (415) 523-7878

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Can I Get A Diversion For DUI In Sonoma County?

As of May 2021 in Sonoma County, the misdemeanor courts, judges, and commissioners have started granting diversions for DUI cases in accordance with the new laws under Penal Code Section 1001.95. In California, the legislature has passed AB 3234, a law which states that most misdemeanors—including DUIs—are eligible for diversion. This means that many DUI cases will be diverted out of the criminal system, and the individuals charged won’t receive a conviction once the diversion period of between six months and two years is over.

In counties where people are still not considered eligible for DUI diversion, the claim is that under Vehicle Code Section 23640, diversion cannot be granted for DUIs. Upon further research and a closer look, many judges in Sonoma County are making what I believe to be the right call, and saying that DUIs in California are eligible for diversion.

The question becomes whether an eligible person is also a suitable person for diversion, which is a decision the judge has to make. The judge can grant diversion over a DA objection, and in most counties, DAs are objecting to diversions for DUI charges.

It is my understanding that in all of the courtrooms in Sonoma County where misdemeanor DUI cases are being handled (departments 4,6,7, and 8), defendants have a chance to be granted diversion. However, it is very important for DUI defendants in Sonoma County to hire the best lawyer they can find, which means finding one who primarily practices DUI law and understands how these diversion motions are working.

Many attorneys in Sonoma County and other counties in the San Francisco Bay Area are not well-versed or up to speed in DUI law and are unaware of the changes occurring; I know this because I’m receiving all sorts of inquiries from attorneys who don’t handle many DUI cases, and I’ve been walking them through the process.

The bottom line is this: as of May 2021, people who have been charged with a first misdemeanor DUI in Sonoma County can likely qualify for diversion, which is fantastic. Hopefully this holds up, because some people in the legislature are trying to reverse these changes.

For more information on DUI Diversion In Sonoma County In California, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (415) 523-7878 today.

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Aaron Bortel
With 30 years of specialized experience in DUI defense, Attorney Aaron Bortel is a dedicated advocate for those facing DUI charges in the Bay Area. Committed to helping clients avoid jail, save their driver’s licenses and jobs, and prevent permanent criminal records, he combines deep legal expertise with genuine care for his client's welfare. Trust in a lawyer who not only defends but truly supports you through challenging times.

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