By Garth O'Brien | March 16, 2008
Filed Under DUI News
Redmond, Washington – March 14, 2008. Republican King County Councilmember Jane Hague made an appearance in court to resolve her DUI criminal charge. Hague entered into a Dispositional Continuance (Dispo Continuance) with the government. A Dispo Continuance is a contract binding the defendant and the prosecution to various agreed upon terms.
Usually, the prosecution will agree to reduce the original criminal charge to a lesser offense or in some cases ultimately dismiss the entire case. The prosecution only fulfills their obligation if the defendant complies with various terms. The defendant must comply with a list of conditions usually imposed when a defendant is on probation (i.e. pay courts costs, attend classes, or perform community service). The terms of the Dispo Continuance are negotiated between the prosecutor and the defendant’s defense attorney.
Jane Hague’s contract requires her to meet the following conditions within the next six months:
- Only drive vehicles equipped with an Ignition Interlock Device;
- Pay court costs;
- Perform 75 hours of community service;
- Make 3 public-service announcements;
- Attend DUI Victim’s Impact Panel;
- Complete an alcohol and drug assessment; and
- Do not accrue any criminal law violations.
Judge Peter Nault will review Hague’s progress in six months. If Hague has complied with all of the terms, then the prosecution must execute their part of the bargain. The prosecuter, Lynn Moberly, agrees to amend the original DUI charge to the criminal charge of Reckless Driving. Both sides then agree that Jane Hague will be found guilty of Reckless Driving.
Reckless Driving is a gross misdemeanor like DUI. However, Reckless Driving only has a mandatory driver’s license suspension where a DUI conviction triggers a host of required consequences. The Reckless Driving license suspension will occur after Jane is officially convicted of the crime. The suspension period will run for 30 days. When Jane applies to reinstate her driving privilege she will need to show the Department of Licensing proof of SR-22 insurance. SR-22 is a high risk insurance that must be carried for three years.
If Jane does not comply with the contract and violates any of the terms, then Jane will be in deep water. The contract will specify that if Jane breaks the contract then the court will review the police report for evidence to support a conviction for DUI. Judges also find enough evidence in the police report to enter a plea of guilt to the original charge. Once convicted of DUI, she will then be sentenced and will serve at least the mandatory minimum punishment. Jane Hague really should comply with the contract to avoid that situation.