Deferred Prosecutions An Introduction
All of us know that if you are facing a criminal blame, you can either appeal guilty or go to trial. With a Driving under the Influence charge in Washington State, there is another way called Deferred Prosecution. A Deferred Prosecution is like an agreement, nothing more. By entering into the agreement, you are agreeing to do five things. If you do the five things then at the end of the contract, your criminal case is dismissed. While you are under the contract, you have not been convicted of the crime, which means: no jail time and no driver’s license suspension. This is a contract that you can only do once in your lifetime. The five things are required by statute; that means that a Judge must include all five in the contract. Now the five things: First, you must get an alcohol evaluation and the evaluation must say that you are an alcoholic – which means you will have two years of alcohol classes. A lesser evaluation will disqualify you from being granted a Deferred Prosecution. Second, probation for five years. There are two kinds of probation: Active and Inactive. Active probation means that you will likely have a Probation Officer that you will have to report to (at least once) who will act as the enforcement arm of the court; making sure that you do the five things you’re supposed to under the contract. There is generally a fee for active probation. Although Courts vary across the State as to how much, it’s generally around $50 per month. Inactive probation is where you no longer have a Probation Officer and your only requirement is good behavior, i.e. don’t get accused of any new criminal activity. Inactive probation generally has neither a monthly fee nor a probation officer, but can have a fee for periodic “record checks” to make sure there are no new criminal law violations. Third, good behavior for five years. This requirement means you can have no new criminal law violations. This does not include (generally) speeding tickets or parking tickets – but anything that places you at risk for jail time will probably violate this requirement. Fourth, go to a Victims Impact Panel. The VIP is a class where you listen to family members of people who have been killed by drunk drivers. It can vary in length but is typically two hours long. Fifth, have an Ignition Interlock Device installed in any vehicle you drive. Although there is pending legislation that would allow you to drive an employer’s vehicle without an IID, at the time of this writing it has not been passed into law.