Interviewer: So please explain about treatment in lieu of conviction.
Dale: If someone has a good record, the only reason they committed a particular offense might be because of a problem with drugs or alcohol. We will try for treatment in lieu of a conviction. That means you would plead guilty to the charge. You enter the court-ordered program, once you’ve completed it the case is dismissed. And then I can have the record sealed so no one can ever see it.
Treatment in Lieu of Conviction is Not an Option for a DUI/OVI
Interviewer: What kind of offenses is that for? Murder, OVI/DUI?
Dale: It can’t be for a OVI/DUI, unfortunately. It can be for any kind of drug charge. It would be for an assault charge, where the guy has a drug and alcohol problem. It could be a theft charge where the guy is stealing because he is addicted to heroin.
DUI/OVI Charges Cannot Be Removed From Your Record
Interviewer: But if it’s a really heinous DUI, then it won’t apply?
Dale: No. Never, that charge will stay with you for 50 years, it doesn’t matter what happens. Even if you are not convicted of the DUI the judge will see when he pulls up your record if you are in court again. There is a unique letter that has a C in it. It will be TRC. Once they see the TCR, even if the case was dismissed against you, they will still see the charge. And the judge will say to himself, “Well, this guy had done it before.”
Interviewer: So, regardless of the outcome of the case, this charge still poisons their future court appearances?
Dale: It does to a degree. There will be a “shadow of a stigma” on their record.