What is a deferred prosecution and how long is the program? A deferred prosecution is a program in the State of Washington covered in RCW 10.05. (Please see RCW 10.05 below) In summary, if you are accused of certain crimes, and the crime was caused by alcoholism, drug addiction, or mental health problems, you may be eligible to petition through the court for a deferred prosecution on your case. The case can be dismissed if you receive treatment for that problem. Bridges Treatment and Recovery offers deferred prosecution programs. Deferred prosecution treatment plans may vary, but it is typically a two-year treatment program. Please feel free to contact us if you have questions regarding deferred prosecution. We are here to help. This program is broken down in three phases of treatment. The deferred prosecution is a two year treatment program.
You will attend treatment as follows.
Phase 1: Three times per week three hours per day/night for eight weeks.
Phase 2: One time per week for twenty six weeks.
Phase 3: One time per month for the remainder of the two year program.
From RCW 10.05:
(1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, the petitioner shall allege under oath in the petition that the wrongful conduct charged is the result of or caused by alcoholism, drug addiction, or mental problems for which the person is in need of treatment and unless treated the probability of future recurrence is great, along with a statement that the person agrees to pay the cost of a diagnosis and treatment of the alleged problem or problems if financially able to do so. The petition shall also contain a case history and written assessment prepared by an approved alcoholism treatment program as designated in chapter 70.96ARCW if the petition alleges alcoholism, an approved drug program as designated in chapter 71.24RCW if the petition alleges drug addiction, or by an approved mental health center if the petition alleges a mental problem.
(2) In the case of a petitioner charged with a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor under chapter 9A.42RCW, the petitioner shall allege under oath in the petition that the petitioner is the natural or adoptive parent of the alleged victim; that the wrongful conduct charged is the result of parenting problems for which the petitioner is in need of services; that the petitioner is in need of child welfare services under chapter 74.13RCW to improve his or her parenting skills in order to better provide his or her child or children with the basic necessities of life; that the petitioner wants to correct his or her conduct to reduce the likelihood of harm to his or her minor children; that in the absence of child welfare services the petitioner may be unable to reduce the likelihood of harm to his or her minor children; and that the petitioner has cooperated with the department of social and health services to develop a plan to receive appropriate child welfare services; along with a statement that the person agrees to pay the cost of the services if he or she is financially able to do so. The petition shall also contain a case history and a written service plan from the department of social and health services.
(3) Before entry of an order deferring prosecution, a petitioner shall be advised of his or her rights as an accused and execute, as a condition of receiving treatment, a statement that contains: (a) An acknowledgment of his or her rights; (b) an acknowledgment and waiver of the right to testify, the right to a speedy trial, the right to call witnesses to testify, the right to present evidence in his or her defense, and the right to a jury trial; (c) a stipulation to the admissibility and sufficiency of the facts contained in the written police report; and (d) an acknowledgment that the statement will be entered and used to support a finding of guilty if the court finds cause to revoke the order granting deferred prosecution. The petitioner shall also be advised that he or she may, if he or she proceeds to trial and is found guilty, be allowed to seek suspension of some or all of the fines and incarceration that may be ordered upon the condition that he or she seek treatment and, further, that he or she may seek treatment from public and private agencies at any time without regard to whether or not he or she is found guilty of the offense charged. He or she shall also be advised that the court will not accept a petition for deferred prosecution from a person who: (i) Sincerely believes that he or she is innocent of the charges; (ii) sincerely believes that he or she does not, in fact, suffer from alcoholism, drug addiction, or mental problems; or (iii) in the case of a petitioner charged under chapter 9A.42RCW, sincerely believes that he or she does not need child welfare services.
(4) Before entering an order deferring prosecution, the court shall make specific findings that: (a) The petitioner has stipulated to the admissibility and sufficiency of the facts as contained in the written police report; (b) the petitioner has acknowledged the admissibility of the stipulated facts in any criminal hearing on the underlying offense or offenses held subsequent to revocation of the order granting deferred prosecution; (c) the petitioner has acknowledged and waived the right to testify, the right to a speedy trial, the right to call witnesses to testify, the right to present evidence in his or her defense, and the right to a jury trial; and (d) the petitioner's statements were made knowingly and voluntarily. Such findings shall be included in the order granting deferred prosecution.
Is Deferred Prosecution Right For You?
One of the options for handling a DUI and keeping it off your long term record is called Deferred Prosecution. A deferred prosecution is a statutory creation intended to help people suffering from the disease of alcoholism who commit the crime of DUI to treat their illness in the hope that by treating the alcoholism no future law violations will occur.
Deferred Prosecution is a method by which the legal charges against you can be dismissed if you successfully complete a strict, two-year treatment program. Deferred Prosecution is available only for those who believe alcoholism, drug addiction, or a mental health problem caused the behavior leading to their DUI arrest. If you do not successfully complete the treatment program, you will face the original charges and consequences and may still be required to complete the treatment program. You only qualify for Deferred Prosecution once in your lifetime so it is very important to use your Deferred Prosecution wisely.
If you are assessed and qualify, a typical Deferred Prosecution treatment program at a state certified drug and alcohol treatment agency involves the following: 24 three-times-a-week three-hour intensive outpatient group sessions (approximately eight weeks), 26 weekly 1.5 hour continuing outpatient group sessions (approximately six months) and then monthly 1.5 hour continuing outpatient group sessions for the remainder of the two-year treatment program. Throughout the two years you will also be required to attend a minimum of two self-help meetings each week. Then, three years after the successful completion of your treatment program but no less than five years after you have entered your deferred prosecution with the court, your case will be dismissed, keeping the DUI from ever appearing on your criminal record. Some courts require that you attend a minimum of two self help meetings each week for the full five year period of time.
A Deferred Prosecution is an incredibly intensive program that requires a tremendous amount of self awareness and commitment to complete. Alcoholism is a disease that is characterized by relapse and recovery. Alcoholics do not generally consider themselves "cured" but "in recovery". For a person who has been struggling with alcoholism for many years and has seen the impact of their addiction on their personal, professional and legal life, a deferred prosecution can offer an opportunity to get sober and the structured program combined with the threat of the consequences of failure can be the support that they need to find success. For a younger person dealing with a first offense DUI and alcoholism, a deferred prosecution may not be the ideal choice. At Milios Defense we firmly believe in assessing an individual’s history, the facts of their case and the consequences that they are facing before making a recommendation for deferred prosecution. We feel strongly that sobriety can be accomplished without the rigors of the deferred prosecution program and believe in exhausting all legal efforts and arguments before entering a client into the program.
The consequences for conviction of
DUI rise with each occurrence. There are few things in this practice that are
more disturbing than seeing a person in court on a second offense DUI who
attempted a deferred prosecution on their first DUI. We strive to avoid ever
finding a client of ours in that unfortunate position.
We can help with deferred prosecution at Bridges Treatment. Please contact us at 360.714.8180 for more information.