Deferred Prosecution

One of the more controversial areas in Washington DUI law is the deferred prosecution. Under RCW Chapter 10.05, a person who truly believes they suffer from either alcohol or drug addiction or mental illness can petition the court for a dismissal of his or her DUI charge. In exchange, that person must undergo an intensive alcohol, drug or mental health treatment program, complete the program successfully and follow all conditions of the court for a period of five years. Successful completion likely means a dismissal. Failure almost certainly means a conviction.

At Evergreen Defenders, we 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.

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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 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.

What Clients Say

Sharon Chirichillo and her staff are experts, kind and extremely professional. I was charged with a DUI on a Saturday and my arraignment was the following Monday. I walked into Sharon’s office terrified and came out feeling relieved. Sharon represented me with the utmost integrity. I was put on the deferred program and as long as I keep my nose clean and attend treatments, the DUI will be dismissed in good time. Her and her staff went above and beyond to help me legally and financially. I truly can’t thank them enough.
AK, a DUI client
Sharon is a high-caliber attorney who cares about her clients and gets results. Sharon worked a miracle for a loved one. She was kind, explained options in detail, and performed several negotiations with the prosecuting attorney. My loved one went from facing at least a year in jail to no jail time. Sharon and her staff are amazing. What qualifies me to give such a high opinion of Sharon? I have a very good friend who is an attorney, have experience with dozens of attorneys through work, and have needed the services of attorneys for my own legal needs. I’ll repeat this because it’s important: Sharon is a high-caliber attorney who cares about her clients and gets results. I highly recommend Sharon.
A DUI client
From Start to Finish you could not ask for a better experiance. Sharon was very attentive to what I needed to do and to hear to make me feel at ease through the entire process. She maintained that things would work out and followed through with what she said she would. I can not ask for anymore than that.
Henry, a DUI client

Why Choose Us

      • Sharon is a member of the National College for DUI Defense
      • We are devoted to minimizing the impact the punishments have on your life and future
      • We consider the best interest of you and your family
      • We will guide you through the criminal justice system
      • We can also represent you during administrative driver’s licensing hearings before the Department of Licensing.

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