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Deferred Prosecution in Washington State

There are many vigorous and strict conditions required of someone who is granted a Deferred Prosecution.  Some of those conditions include successful completion of a 24-month treatment program, no new criminal violations, pay all court fines, five years of probation, and attend a victim's impact panel. Upon successful of all the conditions required of you, the charge(s) will be dismissed.

A deferred prosecution can help you avoid serving jail time, losing your license, and give you the opportunity to get your charges dismissed. Entry into a Deferred Prosecution program should not be done hastily, however, it can be the best option for some clients in certain circumstances.  Cynthia Macklin experienced in petitioning the court for a Deferred Prosecution and understands all of the requirements and conditions placed upon her clients who enter into a Deferred Prosecution. Cynthia Macklin can help you determine if a deferred prosecution is a good option for you on your case. There are strict eligibility requirements to qualify for a Deferred Prosecution.  The following legal requirements must be met:

  • You can only be granted a Deferred Prosecution once in a lifetime.   RCW 10.05.010.
  • You must agree that the crime you are charged is the result of or caused by substance use disorders or mental problems for which you are in need of treatment and unless treated the probability of future recurrence is great. RCW 10.05.020
  • You must also agree to pay the cost of a diagnosis and treatment of the alleged problem or problems if financially able to do so. RCW 10.05.020
  • You obtain an evaluation from a State Certified treatment provider and be evaluated as alcohol dependent, drug dependent, or living with mental health issues.  RCW 10.05.020.
  • Based upon the evaluation, you must enroll in the recommended drug, alcohol, or mental health treatment program and successfully compete all treatment recommendations.  RCW 10.05.020.
  • You must remain abstinent from alcohol and non-prescribed mood-altering drugs for a period of 5 years.
  • Additionally, when you enter a Deferred Prosecution, you will give up many important rights.  This may not be an issue unless you fail to comply with all of the requirements of the Deferred Prosecution. For example, should you fail to complete the treatment as required, or you get charged with a new crime, the Court may revoke your Deferred Prosecution. 
  • Should a revocation occur, you will still have the right to have a trial on the original charge, however, the trial will consist of the Judge reading the Police Reports and making a determination as to guilty or not.  You will not be allowed a trial by a jury, nor will you be allowed to challenge the evidence in the police report. 
  • The Washington Department of Licensing will require that you only drive with an Interlock Ignition Device on your vehicle.  The length of this requirement will vary depending on your prior driving history and can be from 1 to 10 years. 
  • Even if you successfully completed and received a dismissal, a deferred prosecution will be considered a “prior offense” if you were to receive a DUI in the future. 
  • When you enter into a Deferred Prosecution you make a public record that you are chemically dependent or suffering from mental health issues which may have long-term consequences.

At a minimum, you will also be required to successfully complete a 2-year treatment program as outlined in RCW 10.05.150. The treatment will contain 3 phases:

  • Phase 1: intensive outpatient treatment consisting of a minimum of seventy-two hours of treatment in a maximum of twelve weeks.
  • Phase 2: not less than weekly approved outpatient counseling, group or individual, for a minimum of six months following the intensive phase of treatment.
  • Phase 3: not less than monthly outpatient contact, group or individual, for the remainder of the two-year deferred prosecution period.

 As outlined above, there are very strict requirements that go along with a Deferred Prosecution and therefore, it is not something you should enter into without legal advice from an experienced attorney.

If you are charged with a DUI, contact Attorney Cynthia Macklin to get a free consultation. 253-566-0808