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Deferred Prosecution for Washington State DUI Charges

Posted Monday, March 19, 2018 by Lizanne Padula.

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Deferred prosecution is an agreement with the court that can allow a defendant to avoid a Washington DUI conviction upon completing the program’s strict requirements. Upon successful completion of the program the legal charges for DUI will be dismissed.

This is only an option for people who believe that alcoholism, drug addiction, or a mental health problem caused the behavior that led to the DUI arrest. Under the law, a person seeking deferred prosecution “shall allege under oath in the petition that the wrongful conduct charged is the result of or caused by substance use disorders or mental problems for which the person is in need of treatment and unless treated the probability of future recurrence is great, along with a statement that the person agrees to pay the cost of a diagnosis and treatment of the alleged problem or problems if financially able to do so.” RCW 10.05.020.

Deferred Prosecution for Washington State DUI Charges

Deferred prosecution requires strict compliance with a number of conditions and five years of probation. The Conditions of Granting deferred prosecution include the following:

• The court shall order that the petitioner shall not operate a motor vehicle upon the public highways without a valid operator’s license and proof of liability insurance. The amount of liability insurance shall be established by the court at not less than that established by RCW 46.29.490 (“Motor vehicle liability policy” defined).

• As a condition of granting a deferred prosecution petition on any alcohol-dependency based case, the court shall order the installation of an ignition interlock devise under RCW46.20.720.

• The court may order the petitioner to make restitution and to pay costs as defined in RCW 10.01.160.

• The court may terminate the deferred prosecution program upon violation of the deferred prosecution order. RCW 10.05.140.

Depending on the facts of your case, there may be more conditions you must meet for the court to grant a deferred prosecution petition. For example, “the court may order reasonable conditions during the period of the deferred prosecution including, but not limited to, attendance at self-help recovery support groups for alcoholism or drugs, complete abstinence from alcohol and all nonprescribed mind-altering drugs, periodic urinalysis or breath analysis, and maintaining law-abiding behavior.” RCW 10.05.140.

Deferred prosecution in Washington State is only available once in a person’s lifetime. By law it cannot be offered a second time. Further, if you fail to successfully complete the terms of the treatment program, you will face the original DUI charges.

Deferred prosecution is a lengthy program that is expensive and time consuming, but for the right person it can be an opportunity to get needed help and avoid a criminal conviction.

The skilled attorneys at Padula & Associates, LLC can help you through the legal process of seeking deferred prosecution. We invite you to meet with us for a free consultation to explore how we can help you. Call us at 425-883-3366 of fill out this simple web form.

For more than 20 years, Padula & Associates, LLC has been serving those in King County, Snohomish County, and throughout Washington State with aggressive criminal defense services.