In October 2014, Mississippi passed a law that enables first-time DUI offenders to participate in the non-adjudication program, which allows them to avoid spending time behind bars and having a criminal record after they meet certain conditions. Once the program is complete, the defendant avoids conviction.
The following are the requirements to be eligible for the non-adjudication program in Mississippi:
- The defendant is a first-time offender
- The defendant cannot have any prior convictions or any DUI charges pending
- The defendant has not previously been part of the non-adjudication program
- The defendant didn’t refuse a DUI chemical test after arrest
Getting arrested for a DUI can be a scary, confusing, and stressful experience, especially if it is your first time. If you are unable to prove your innocence, a conviction can result in jail time, fines, license suspension, and a permanent criminal record.
Fortunately, the court understands that first-time DUI offenders are not seasoned criminals. Many of these individuals have simply made a mistake and understand the gravity of their actions.
How Does a Non-Adjudication Case Work?
In a non-adjudication case, the defendant enters a guilty plea. Then, the judge holds that plea in non-adjudicated status and determines specific conditions the defendant must meet.
The defendant will be ordered to pay fines related to conviction and the program itself ($250) and complete an alcohol safety education course within six months. Additionally, he/she must install an ignition interlock device (IID) to start driving again and maintain it for 120 days. After the 120 days, the defendant must obtain proof from the IID company that he/she didn’t commit any violations throughout that time. Once all these conditions are met, the court will enter a non-adjudication order.
If you are unable to obtain non-adjudication, your conviction could still be expunged. Only first-time offenders who didn’t refuse a post-arrest chemical test can get an expunction. When all terms and conditions of a DUI sentence is complete, you can request expunction after five years.