Washington State provides for “deferred prosecution” for certain DUI offenders. Deferred prosecution allows you to escape some of the possible ramifications of a DUI trial and conviction, but the program is quite stringent, and there are several notable drawbacks to consider. The decision of whether or not to go the deferred prosecution route takes serious contemplation. Before moving forward with your case, you’ll want to speak to a DUI defense attorney about the qualifications, stipulations, and pros and cons.
Understanding Deferred Prosecution
When someone is charged with a DUI, they will usually undergo arrest, go to an initial court session (arraignment), enter a plea, and then attend court again for hearing and sentencing. If found guilty, you will have a criminal conviction on your record and be subject to serious penalties including jail time, loss of driving privileges and increased insurance requirements.
Some offenders may have the option to petition the court to enter a deferred prosecution program, though. It’s an excellent program, but only for those committed to total sobriety. The alcoholism-deferred prosecution program lasts two years and consists of a detailed and strict list of requirements found in RCW 10.05.150. If you enter the program and follow it successfully until completion, your case will be dismissed. With the program, you can avoid jail time, losing your license and paying for an SR-22 certificate.
Eligibility for DUI Deferred Prosecution
There are several eligibility requirements you’ll need to meet for the court to approve your request for deferred prosecution. Some of the requirements include the following.
- This must be your first time every having been in a deferred prosecution program.
- You must have been diagnosed with mental health issues or as dependent on drugs or alcohol.
- You must be able to commit to the program 100 percent, including successfully complying with the treatment recommendations for your drug/alcohol/mental health issues.
To determine your eligibility and for help petitioning the court, you can call a DUI attorney in Washington at 253-383-7777 for a free consult.
What’s required of you when you choose deferred prosecution?
Deferred prosecution can be a godsend for some people, but it’s not for everyone. It’s important to consider carefully what’s required and whether or not it’s a practical decision. Below are some of the requirements you’ll need to abide by.
- You must totally abstain from alcohol and all other non-prescribed mind-altering drugs. You will be subject to random urinalysis.
- You give up your right to trial and admit on record that you have a drug/alcohol addiction.
- You must participate in an intensive, state-approved inpatient or outpatient alcoholism treatment program.
- You will be on probation for five years, and although your case will be dismissed if you complete the program, it still counts as a “prior offense.”
- You must participate in an alcoholism self-help recovery support group and attend a minimum of two meetings per week for the duration of the treatment program.
- You must attend approved outpatient counseling at least once per week for at least six months following the intensive phase of treatment.
- You must have an outpatient contact at least once per month for the remainder of the two-year deferred prosecution period.
- The treating facility and your physician will get to decide whether or not to include the use of prescribed drugs, including disulfiram, as a condition of treatment.
Free Consult for Help Weighing Your Options
Is deferred program right for you? Let our DUI legal team help you make the best decision. Contact Daryl Graves Law, PLLC in Washington today at 253-383-7777 for a free, confidential consultation.