Deferred Prosecution

“I was charged with DUI in Washington. Am I eligible for Deferred Prosecution (DP)?”

If you are charged with DUI in Washington, you may be eligible for the DP Program. DP is regulated by statute under RCW 10.05.010 which reads: “(1) In a court of limited jurisdiction (District Court) a person charged with a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor (DUI) may petition the court to be considered for a deferred prosecution program. The petition shall be filed with the court at least seven days before the date set for trial but, upon written motion and affidavit establishing good cause for the delay and failure to comply with this section, the court may waive this requirement subject to the defendant’s reimbursement to the court of the witness fees and expenses due for subpoenaed witnesses who have appeared on the date set for trial.”

Vancouver WA DUI Attorney

In the context of a DUI related DP, the defendant is on probation for 5 years. The first 2 years of the Deferred Prosecution the participant undergoes intensive treatment for alcoholism and or drug addiction. The following outlines the typical treatment regimen under the program. Even though the anticipated treatment schedule is 2 years, treatment can be extended by relapse and lack of participation in recommended treatment. That said, the key component to the program is treatment and sobriety. Deviations from treatment and/or sobriety can lead to the DP being revoked and the defendant facing prosecution once again on the original charge including incarceration (jail), fines, and continued treatment.

  • A minimum of 72 hours of Intensive Outpatient Treatment three times a week, two hours per session;
  • Followed by 26 weeks of Weekly Aftercare Treatment one time per week, two hours per session;
  • Followed by monthly monitoring sessions one time per month, one hour per session (14-16 months), for a total of 2 years of required treatment;
  • The participant will remain from the use of alcohol and all mind/mood altering substances, unless prescribed by a medical / mental health professional
  • While in treatment the participant attends 2 sobriety based self-help meetings/activities weekly, provide urine samples for testing on a random basis, and have individual counseling sessions as required by police and legal mandate.

“That sounds like a lot of treatment, what if I don’t have a drug or alcohol problem?”

Treatment is precipitated by an assessment. The assessment is the diagnostic tool the treatment provider uses to determine the level of care needed. In many cases, DP is granted based on a showing of alcohol dependence or abuse. Unless the court grants the DP for reasons related to drug addiction or mental health.

“What if I already did a Deferred Prosecution, am I eligible again?”

Short Answer: No. Under RCW 10.05.010, the DP program can only be used once.

“What if I was arrested in Washington but I am an Oregon resident, I am eligible for DP?”

Short answer: Yes. However, you will need to notify corrections upon your acceptance into the program immediately so your probation can be transferred to the home state.

In short, the law in this regard is designed to give treatment to those in need of treatment not incarceration to those in need of treatment. The law requires that the person seeking the Deferred Prosecution program to state, under oath, that the wrongful conduct charged is a result of or caused by alcoholism, drug addiction, or mental health and that the person is in need of treatment and unless the treated, there is a strong probability of re-offense.

If you would like to know more about deferred prosecution, call me at (360) 693-6228. You should speak with an experienced DUI attorney to discuss your case.