• Will I be required to appear at the 5-year hearing on a deferred prosecution?

    Maybe. It depends on the Court. This is the hearing where your DUI is dismissed. If you are in compliance, timely completed the 2-year treatment and complied with all the other court’s conditions – your appearance is usually not required in most Courts. However, I would check with the Court Clerk or your attorney just to be sure.

  • Can I drink alcohol on a mental health deferred prosecution?

    No. One of the conditions of a DUI deferred prosecution whether for mental health or alcoholism is no drinking. This condition is in place for the duration of the five (5) year deferred prosecution probation period.

  • Can I get my Deferred Prosecution dismissed early?

    No. Notwithstanding, your completing alcohol/drug treatment ahead of schedule. (you started treatment before entering deferred prosecution in Court – not unusual) According to Washington State law the earliest your DUI or Physical Control can be dismissed is 5 years from the date of entering or acceptance of the deferred prosecution by the Court.

  • When can I enter a deferred prosecution on my DUI?

    Anytime, up to seven (7) days before trial. Although, I have entered them as late as the day of trial. Obviously, you need to know the Court and what they will accept.

  • Do I need to get the Deferred Prosecution Petition into the Court beforehand?

    Yes. In most cases, the Judge (and prosecutor) would like the opportunity to review a Petition for Deferred Prosecution and accompanying documents on a DUI charge before your Court appearance. Some Courts by local Court rule even mandate a specific time period. The most common is 7-14 days before the Court date. Regardless of a Court rule, it is always a good practice to do so. Otherwise, if it is a busy Court calender you will be asked to continue the hearing.

  • Is a Deferred Prosecution recorded as a conviction?

    No. If you do a Deferred Prosecution for a DUI or Physical Control in Washington State it is not a conviction at any pont. (unlike a deferred sentence). However, the Deferred Prosecution does remain in the Court and Department of Licensing (DOL) records.

  • Does a Deferred Prosecution require SR-22 insurance?

    No. If you enter a deferred prosecution SR-22 will not be required. This can result in substantial savings in insurance premiums. However, there is one important exception – if you refused the breath test – and lost the Department of Licensing Administrative Hearing – SR-22 insurance will be still be required for at least three (3) years . You will also have to obtain an ignition interlock license if you want to drive during the period of revocation.

  • What makes you eligible for a deferred prosecution?

    To be eligible for a deferred prosecution you must state that the wrongful conduct (DUI) was caused by or a result of alcoholism (dependency), drug addiction or mental problems. Alcohol “abuse” is not included per se. In other words, you can have a problem with alcohol (abusive maybe), but it does not rise to the level of dependency – then you will not be eligible for deferred based on alcoholism.

  • Should I enter a Deferred Prosecution on a 1st offense DUI?

    Probably not. Usually, I would recommend against entering a deferred prosecution on a first offense DUI. In Washington State you get one opportunity to do a deferred prosecution in your lifetime. However, there are exceptions , many clients have little choice because of personal, career or employment considerations. I have had doctors, lawyers, executives, police officers and other professionals enter into a deferred prosecution on a first offense, especially when a DUI conviction was not an acceptable option. Often, with these clients, a reduction even to reckless or negligent driving first degree is still an unsatisfactory resolution. I also do not like a deferred prosecution because like a DUI conviction it has a five year probationary period – whereas reckless and negligent driving the maximum probationary time period is two years. Obviously, you must still meet the eligibility requirements of a deferred prosecution. That said, every person’s situation is unique and you should consult with a DUI attorney to find the best option for you.