Understanding Deferred Prosecution

In the state of Washington, persons facing DUI charges have a strategic legal alternative known as deferred prosecution. This strategy works with an experienced DUI lawyers to keep the defendant’s record clear of the offense. The procedure is committing to complete a two-year alcohol, drug, or mental health program that emphasizes recovery and responsibility.

Deferred prosecution offers an advantageous path for individuals struggling with substance abuse disorders, enabling them to avoid future DUI and related criminal penalties. Those who acknowledge responsibility for their actions and proactively pursue treatment for alcoholism qualify.

Eligibility Requirements for Deferred Prosecution

To qualify for deferred prosecution, you must meet the following criteria:

  • This must be your first time participating in deferred prosecution for this violation (e.g., DUI or domestic violence).
  • The charges against you must be a misdemeanor or high misdemeanor, not a felony.
  • You must waive many of your fundamental criminal rights, including the right to a jury trial and the opportunity to summon witnesses.
  • You must demonstrate that you have a treatable condition (such as alcoholism or a mental health illness) and that you are likely to reoffend if treatment is not received (e.g., for a DUI or domestic abuse charge).

The Five-Year Journey

The deferred prosecution program unfolds over a five-year period. It commences with intensive outpatient group sessions, gradually transitioning to weekly and monthly sessions. Participants must also attend bi-weekly “self-help” meetings throughout the entire five-year span.

If you want a more comprehensive breakdown of what this may look like, more information is provided on the Clark County Court’s website: https://clark.wa.gov/district-court/deferred-prosecution

Successful Completion and Dismissal

Successful completion of the program results in the dismissal of the DUI charge, with no trace on the defendant’s criminal history. Countless individuals, including those battling long-term addiction, have successfully completed the program, experiencing positive transformations in their lives.

Projected Timeline

In the event that this is a Driving Under the Influence case, Probation Services will keep an eye on your case for three (3) years after treatment is over, reviewing your records to make sure no new infractions have happened. After completing three (3) years of clean record checks and 24 months of substance use treatment, Probation Services will notify the prosecutor that your Deferred Prosecution is over.

Please be aware that the timing may vary from case to case, and it is highly recommended to seek advice from an attorney for the most optimal outcome. Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer would be happy to help guide you in your decision to peruse deferred prosecution and guide you through the process.

Consequences of non-completion

Failure to complete the deferred prosecution program or violating its terms may result in dismissal from the program, leading to DUI prosecution and the imposition of maximum criminal penalties.

Take control of your legal situation. Consult with an experienced attorney today to explore your options and secure the best possible outcome for your case. Your future deserves the attention of a dedicated professional. Act now and empower yourself with the guidance you need. Call Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer at (360) 334-6277 to schedule a free consultation on criminal matters.