Deferred Prosecution

The Washington DUI Deferred Prosecution is a program that allows a person suffering from alcoholism, drug addiction, or a mental health problem to petition the court to enter an intensive treatment program in lieu of being prosecuted for DUI. Successful completion of the Deferred Prosecution, treatment program and compliance with other court imposed conditions will result in dismissal of the DUI and may avoid a suspension of driver’s license by the Department of Licensing.

The Deferred Prosecution law allows an individual to petition the court for deferral of their case for five years while they seek treatment for their disease. If the request is granted the advantages of the Deferred Prosecution are clear:

  1. No jail
  2. No criminal fine
  3. Removal of a DUI conviction from criminal record
  4. No license suspension (if submitted to BAC breath test)
  5. No SR-22 high risk insurance

Most importantly, they are given an opportunity to overcome their disease and regain control of their lives.

Deferred Prosecution Eligibility

In order to qualify for Deferred Prosecution the DUI defendant must obtain a substance abuse evaluation from a state approved treatment agency. The agency will conduct an assessment and must conclude that the criminal conduct for which Deferred Prosecution is sought occurred as a result of alcoholism, drug addiction or mental health problems. It also requires that the DUI defendant is willing to complete the substance addiction treatment program. If those conditions are met, the person is eligible for Deferred Prosecution as long as they have never been granted a Deferred Prosecution before in their lifetime.

Deferred Prosecution Conditions

The required two-year substance addiction treatment program is quite rigorous and occurs in three phases. Additionally, two Alcoholics Anonymous or other self-help meetings per week are required for the full two years, and can be required for the entire five year period. The DUI defendant is also placed on supervised probation, which means that they may be required to meet on a regular basis with a probation officer and must pay for those services. Additionally, the Deferred Prosecution requires installation of the Ignition Interlock Device for at least one year.

Have you been arrested for DUI in Washington State and would like to learn more about the Deferred Prosecution program? Contact us for a free consultation to discuss your case and your options. We will aggressively protect your legal rights and interests.