Video of a dazed Tiger Woods in jail as he takes a breathalyzer test and answers questions from a police officer.
USA TODAY Sports
Tiger Woods is scheduled to make his first court appearance related to his May arrest for driving under the influence. But Woods’ lawyer told the Associated Press the 14-time major champion won’t be attending Wednesday’s arraignment.
Woods appears to meet the qualifications for Palm Beach County’s first-time DUI offender program where a 12-month monitoring program is mandated instead of community service or jail time, a deal that could be made public at the arraignment. The program, created four years ago, would result in the DUI charge to be dropped and the case sealed after completion of the monitoring program.
“Looking at the facts of Tiger’s case, I don’t see any reason why he should not be offered entry into the program,” Steven Bell, a partner at Meltzer & Bell who has handled thousands of DUI cases in Palm Beach County, told USA TODAY Sports. “When you look at the probable cause affidavit, the case is very similar to the cases I’ve handled where my clients have been allowed entry into the program.”
Woods’ hearing was originally scheduled for July 5 and was postponed to Aug. 9.
His lawyer can enter a not guilty plea on Woods’ behalf Wednesday. Woods would be required to attend the hearing for any other plea, the Associated Press reported.
There were three filings made by by the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office on Tuesday that could be a precursor to Woods’ admittance into the program, Bell said. There was no mention of the division program in the filings.
Bell said the decision to allow any defendant into the diversionary program in Palm Beach is at the sole discretion of the prosecutor based upon the facts of each particular case. The decision to allow a defendant to enter the first-time offender program is typically made after the arraignment.
Messages left with the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office and Woods lawyer, Douglas Duncan, were not returned on Tuesday.
Woods, 41, was arrested in Jupiter, where he has a home, on May 29 after police found him asleep inside his running Mercedes with a blinker on. In dash cam video,…