Steve Wilkos may be known to fans of his talk show in California and across the country for his hard-edged approach to the guests dealing with personal issues on his television program, but he is seeking the application of a softer touch to his own run-in with the law. Wilkos, known for his stint as security director on the Jerry Springer TV show before launching his own television talk program, flipped over his car in January 2018 in a drunk driving incident near his home in Connecticut.
On April 23, 2018, the judge overseeing the drunk driving case agreed to admit Wilkos to a diversionary program when he attended a hearing in Stamford Superior Court. By successfully completing the program, Wilkos can have the DUI charges erased from his criminal record. The talk show host noted that he had previously completed a rehab program in an attempt to deal with ongoing struggles with alcohol; the diversionary program will include 15 weeks of alcohol education classes and participating in a panel with victims of drunk driving.
At the time of the crash, Wilkos claimed that he relies on glasses to see properly while driving, but had failed to put them on before the accident. The one-car accident led to a hiatus from his talk show program while he recovered from injuries caused by the crash. Police disputed his narrative, and he faced drunk driving charges as a result. Following the agreement, Wilkos said that he had a lapse in judgment that led him to drive while drunk.
People facing drunk driving charges may have to deal with long-term consequences, including hefty fines, loss of one’s driver’s license and even jail or prison time. A criminal defense attorney can work to mount a defense to DUI charges in the courtroom or to reach an agreement with the prosecution before trial, depending on the needs of their client.