If you have been charged with a DUI, do not lose hope! There are a number of options that may be available to you depending on your situation. If alcohol or drugs have become a consistent problem in your life and you have received multiple DUIs, you may be able to enter in a Deferred Prosecution program. This program has a dual function: eliminate the DUI charge and help a person get a handle on their addiction problem or disease. Only individuals who believe they have a real problem and that problem is the direct cause of their DUI charges can go through this program.
The Revised Code of Washington (RCW) lays out the specifics for this program. The statute in question, RCW 10.05, gives you the ability to petition the court for a Deferred Prosecution on your DUI case. It is important to keep in mind that this program is not for everyone. The program is five years long and is quite rigorous and demanding. The good news is that if you successfully complete it, your DUI will be dismissed.
Do I Qualify?
In order to qualify for the program, you must first have a serious alcohol problem for which treatment is required. The law extends to include mental health and drug-related deferred prosecutions as well. If you have one of these three problems and believe you may need treatment and believe that a similar offense will most likely happen again without treatment, you will qualify. If you believe that you did not commit a crime and are innocent of the DUI or DWI charge, this is not the path for you to take.
The entire Deferred Prosecution program will take a minimum of five years. The program begins with a two year treatment program. In addition to this two year treatment plan, you will be required to attend two Alcoholics Anonymous (or similar sober support) meetings per week for the five years. You will be required to abstain from all alcohol and non-prescribed drugs throughout your time. You will be required to obtain an ignition interlock device as well.
Though this may seem like an easy path towards having your charges dismissed, there are a number of drawbacks of which you must be aware. The catch to these programs is that if you fail to complete all aspects of the program, you will simply be found guilty of the underlying DUI and sentenced—you may be subject to maximum sentencing. You will have given up your right to a trial and to challenge all evidence and the case. Additionally, you only are allowed one deferred prosecution for a DUI per lifetime. The Deferred Prosecution program is not to be taken lightly. It is most often used in second and multiple DUI offenses where the mandatory minimum penalties are quite high and it has become clear that this is becoming a persistent problem.
Experienced Legal Guidance
If you are considering taking this path, we can discuss whether or not you qualify for deferred prosecution and make a determination as to whether or not it's a good idea for you. If it is, we will guide you through the process of getting all of the paperwork prepared and filed with the courts. All of this is part of the high-quality representation you get at Dichter Law Office, PLLC. At our law office, we make sure to give our full, undivided attention to every case. You will not be ignored or swept to the side merely because we have taken on more than we can handle. Instead, we limit our caseload so that we can explore every option available to our clients. This way we can help you to the best of our ability in obtaining a favorable outcome for your DUI case.