Michael’s answer: 1st DUI Deferred Prosecution. First, how much more “time” you do will depend on the facts of your case, how it is ultimately resolved and how long you were in jail when you were arrested. But for a 1st offense it should be no more than two days with credit for the time already served.
As for doing a “deferred prosecution”, you are eligible, but I don’t normally recommend it for a 1st offense and you should think long and hard before you chose to use up the one you get for a lifetime. While a Deferred Persecution can be a great option for the right client, it is all too often misused as an “easy way out”. It is not. If a lawyer has suggested a Deferred Prosecution as way way to resolve a first offense DUI, than, barring some very unique circumstances, that lawyer is providing bad advice. Since you can only get one Deferred Prosecution in your lifetime, it should be saved for the unfortunate, but very real possibility of a 2nd or 3rd offense within 7 years when the benefits will outweigh the burdens of a 2-year treatment program and a long and costly period of supervision (probation). Here are some answers to common questions about Deferred Prosecutions.
• What is a deferred prosecution ? A deferred prosecution under RCW 10.05 is a program in the State of Washington, whereby if you are accused of certain crimes, including DUI, and the crime was caused by alcoholism, drug addiction, or mental health problems, the case can be dismissed if you receive treatment for that problem.
• Should I do a deferred prosecution? That is a complex and difficult question to answer and will depend on the facts of your case, your goals and your driving history.
• Will I lose my license if I do a deferred prosecution? No, but you will be required to install an ignition interlock device in any non-work vehicle you drive.
• Will I go to jail if I do a deferred prosecution? No. There is no jail component for a deferred prosecution.
• Is a deferred prosecution the “easy way out?” No, it is not. It is often very difficult. It is a huge commitment of time, money and energy. You will have to admit your problem in open court and agree to complete the prescribed two year treatment program and agree to abstain from the use of alcohol and drugs for that two year period. You will also be subject to costs fees of up to $4,000, sometimes more.
• How long is the treatment program for an alcoholism related deferred prosecution? Treatment plans vary, but the law requires a two-year treatment program. Three years after successful completion of the treatment program, but not less than five years after the entry of the deferred prosecution, the case will be dismissed.
• I had a deferred prosecution before, can I do another one? No. You can only do one in a lifetime. This is why I always advise clients to think long and hard before entering a deferred prosecution, particularly on first offenses or weak cases. The ‘trade off’ makes more sense when you are facing 30,45,90 or 120 days in jail plus mandatory electronic home monitoring following jail if you are convicted of a second or third offense within seven years.
• I did a deferred and am tired of treatment, can I stop going? No. If you stop going then the deferred prosecution will be revoked. You will be convicted of the DUI and the Court will still make you finish the treatment program.
• Can I travel to Canada during or after successfully completing a deferred prosecution? Probably. Unfortunately, Canada does not have a clear cut policy and it’s difficult to predict exactly what the Canadian authorities will do. And while individual border agents have a lot of discretion, my experience has been that persons on a deferred prosecution or having successfully completed one have been permitted to enter.
• Other things to keep in mind:
Even a successfully completed deferred prosecution will count as a prior conviction for purposes of sentencing, license suspension and ignition interlock.