Washington State is the only state in the country that allows you to get your DUI dismissed after 5 years through a Deferred Prosecution (DP) option. If you are eligible, and fully comply with all requirements, you can avoid all DUI jail time, license suspensions, and a criminal record. Your DUI will be completely dismissed without you even having to come back to court. This DP program was designed to rehabilitate the person to the point that they will not be likely to re-offend by maintaining sobriety from alcohol / drugs.
But a DUI Deferred Prosecution takes time, commitment, and dedication. It is not a decision to make lightly. There are many pros and cons to be considered when deciding if a DUI Deferred Prosecution is right for you.
- You can have only one DUI Deferred Prosecution in your lifetime.
- You must first be diagnosed as having a substance abuse disorder or mental health issues which contributed to your DUI.
- You must be enrolled and progressing in a recommended two year Deferred Prosecution drug, alcohol, or mental health treatment program.
Chemical dependence (drug or alcohol) Deferred Prosecutions require compliance with a strict two year treatment plan at a state certified alcohol / drug treatment agency.
These requirements include:
- Total abstinence from alcohol and all other non-prescribed, mind altering drugs.
- Attendance at a minimum of 2 self help recovery support group meetings per week. (AA meetings or similar such group meetings)
- Completion of a three Phase two year DP treatment program:
- Phase 1: Intensive Outpatient Treatment (12 weeks)
- Phase 2: Weekly approved outpatient counseling (at least six months)
- Phase 3: Monthly outpatient contact (remainder of the 2 year DP period)
- Random alcohol / drug testing throughout the two year treatment period.
After completing the above two year DP treatment plan, your DUI case will be continued for an additional 3 years, while your court’s probation department continues to oversee your progress and compliance with all DP requirements (no new criminal charges, no alcohol / drug related violations, no driving without a valid driver’s license and auto insurance, etc).
If you fail to uphold any of these DP requirements, you will be brought back in front of the judge and risk losing your DUI Deferred Prosecution. At that point, the judge may find you guilty of DUI based solely on the police report, and then convict you of DUI. Plus you will have now used up your once in a lifetime DP option and will never again be eligible.
Different courts have different deadlines for applying for a DUI Deferred Prosecution. The Snohomish County District Court and the Marysville Municipal Court for example, require you to file your Petition for Deferred Prosecution at least 7 days prior to your court Pretrial Hearing / Readiness Hearing. The Snohomish County District Court also requires you to have completed at least 18 hours of your DP Phase 1 treatment phase.
Call Lynnwood DUI lawyer Paul Hanson for additional information on the DUI Deferred Prosecution option. Call 425-778-7339