What is Deferred Prosecution for DUI in Washington?
If you are charged with a DUI in Washington, and you have been diagnosed with alcohol or drug dependency, you may be eligible for a deferred prosecution of your DUI.
A deferred prosecution is an option for those who have mental health problems or drug/alcohol dependencies, but simply claiming that there is a problem is not enough. Instead, you must meet the rigid requirements and comply with all conditions to have your DUI charges dismissed.
Eligibility Requirements for a Deferred Prosecution for DUI in Washington
To be eligible, speak with a DUI attorney. An attorney can help you complete the DUI prosecution request, but also ensure you meet the legal requirements outlined in RCW 10.05.020.
Some requirements include:
- You cannot have a past deferred prosecution for any crime, including a DUI. You are only allowed one deferment in a lifetime.
- You must be diagnosed by a medical professional as alcohol dependent, suffering from mental health issues, or drug dependent.
- You must enroll in an accredited treatment program and comply with the treatment recommendations made by the healthcare professionals overseeing your case.
Is Deferred Prosecution Right for Your DUI?
While you can avoid prosecution, it does not mean you walk out of the courtroom without consequences. Therefore, before you request deferred prosecution, you must understand the requirements and implications of this deferment.
The Consequences of a Deferred Prosecution
- Lifetime Rule: You can only enter one deferred prosecution for a lifetime. If you are a first-time DUI offender, most attorneys will not advise deferred prosecution.
- Waiving Your Rights: If you request deferred prosecution, you waive your rights to go to trial. If you do not comply with the terms of the deferment, a judge can automatically find you guilty of a DUI and sentence you without the right to a trial.
- Look Back Applies: Even if you complete a deferred prosecution, that event is still considered a prior offense for the look-back period for multiple DUI’s.
- Abstinence is Required: You cannot drink or take any non-prescribed medications for five years if you are granted deferment.
- Costs: You have an obligation to pay all costs of your treatment, probation, and other requirements of your deferment, such as installing and maintaining an IID.
- Time: You must comply with the deferment, which includes a time-consuming treatment program.
Most importantly, if you are diagnosed with “chemical” dependence, RCW 10.05.150 requires that you be sent to a two-year certified treatment program through the state. You must remain in the program and comply with all treatments, such as a minimum number of recovery support group meetings, completing three phases of treatment, and more.
See if a deferred prosecution for a DUI is the right choice by consulting with an attorney from Bugbee Law Office, P.S. Call for a free case evaluation now at 509-337-5082 or request yours online.
The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.
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