Barbara A. Bowden

Tacoma, WA DUI Attorney

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What is deferred prosecution?

In some states, this is called a diversion program. Washington State terms it as deferred prosecution. This is an elected consequence after a DUI charge. There are two types of deferred prosecutions under RCW‑10.05: alcohol deferred prosecution and mental health deferred prosecution.

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Deferred Prosecution

To enter deferred prosecution, you need to admit that you’re an alcoholic. After you do so, you’ll go through two years’ worth of treatment. You’ll also be required to do five years of alcoholics’ anonymous or another type of community-based alcohol recovery classes. Additionally, you will be required one year of ignition interlock.

Read more about ignition interlock.

Mental Health Deferred Prosecution

The other type of deferred prosecution is a mental health deferred prosecution. You don’t need to have experienced mental illness in order to do mental health deferred prosecution.

Maybe you had events that occurred in your life; for example, maybe you had a couple deaths in your family. Maybe you got a divorce or put your dog to sleep. Mental health deferred prosecution can be stress related.

Can I do a deferred prosecution if I’m not an alcoholic?

Yes, you can if a professional evaluates you as having a mental heath condition. In that case, you will have to do a minimum of 24 one-hour individual sessions, but over a period of five years. A deferred prosecution will last for 5 years, but on a mental health deferred after the first two years of treatment, there is no AA or community-based recovery class requirement. an I receive multiple deferred prosecutions?

No. You only get one deferred prosecution in a lifetime. This hasn’t always been the case, though. In the past you could do one every five years.

Once you have done a deferred prosecution you don’t get another one. This is one reason why I usually consider deferred prosecution to be a last option.

Does deferred prosecution affect my Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)?

Commercial licenses are held to a much higher standard. If you do a deferred prosecution, your commercial license will be disqualified for a year.

If you have questions about deferred prosecution or your DUI charge, contact the Law Offices of Barbara A. Bowden. We have offices in both Lakewood and Tacoma, Washington. Call us anytime.

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