You may know Steve Wilkos best as the former bouncer for the Jerry Springer Show, or more recently as the host of his own program. But some law enforcement officers in Connecticut now know him as the man they pulled from an overturned vehicle and ultimately charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) after a one-vehicle accident in January. Now, a recent court appearance indicates Mr. Wilkos may avoid jail time or a DWI conviction if he meets certain conditions.
The story of the celebrity's arrest has been unusual. News of the accident spread quickly in the Connecticut town. Within 48 hours, Mr. Wilkos was identified as the driver in the crash that left his SUV a mangled wreck in the middle of a quiet neighborhood street. Wilkos received medical treatment after the accident, and his condition was severe enough that his show went on hiatus to allow him time to heal. Wilkos originally claimed that he was driving without his glasses, and when he reached for them in his console he lost control of his vehicle. The vehicle left the road, striking several fences and trees before it flipped and came to a stop in the roadway.
The story took an unusual turn when it was later revealed Wilkos had not been truthful about the account. In fact, Wilkos had been arrested after the accident under suspicion of drunk driving. He was eventually charged with DWI by the Darien, Connecticut police. Eventually, Wilkos came clean about the arrest citing poor judgment. According to police records, Wilkos had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.29, more than three times the legal limit.
Despite his high BAC level, the former police officer appears set to avoid jail and have his case dismissed if he completes a diversionary program. At an April 23, 2018 hearing, Wilkos appeared in front of a judge in Stamford, Connecticut and was ordered to complete a diversionary program. The 15-week program provides education on substance abuse and culminates with attendance at a panel of drunk driving victims. If Wilkos completes these steps and stays out of trouble again, his case will be dismissed later this year.
Washington State has some of the toughest DUI laws in the country, but they do provide for a similar deferment program for first-time offenders. If prosecution of a DUI is deferred, a driver can have their conviction dismissed if they do not re-offend within three years. There are four requirements a driver must meet to be eligible for deferred prosecution.
Deferred Prosecution requirements
- You must have never used the deferred prosecution option previously.
- You must officially be diagnosed with a drug dependency, an alcohol dependency, or mental health issues.
- You must enroll in and complete the corresponding alcohol, drug, or mental health treatment course and follow any recommendations from the program.
- You must pay for the treatment program.
The decision to enter into a deferred prosecution program is yours alone. However, there are many factors to consider when considering your legal options. Consulting with an experienced DUI defense attorney can help you understand your options when making such an important decision. Contact the Law Offices of Steve Karimi today to schedule a free consultation and discuss your options.