Deferred Prosecution In Washington State

As a former judge and current criminal defense attorney, John E. Turner wants to keep people from going to prison. For this reason, deferred prosecution is an important part of his practice.

What Is Deferred Prosecution?

Deferred prosecution and diversion are ways to deal with criminal offenses without creating a criminal record. They are used extensively in Washington for DUI cases.

Instead of going to jail or prison, you agree to a set of restrictions for a period of time. The agreement generally requires you to:

  • Give up your right to trial
  • Accept probation for one to five years
  • Get treatment for whatever your problem is - alcohol, drugs or mental illness
  • Get yourself together and not commit another offense

Effective Attorney Handling Charge Dismissals

With a deferred prosecution or diversion, if you complete your probation satisfactorily, your case is dismissed. This dismissal is a major victory because a conviction could harm you in serious ways:

  • It can harm your career prospects.
  • It can bring your education and other plans to a halt.
  • It can prevent you from living where you want to live.

Other Varieties Of Deferred Prosecution

  • Drug court: Instead of going to jail, you go to treatment, and stay clean, sober and out of trouble. Slip up and your case will not be dismissed.
  • Deferred sentences: In this approach you are found guilty and sentenced; however, at the end of the sentence the conviction is replaced by a dismissal. Deferred sentences are not favored, however, because they still show up on a criminal record.
  • Stipulated order of continuance: In this approach, you agree to avoid certain criminal situations. If you keep your word, at the end of the stipulation period the prosecutor will reduce the charge. For instance, a DUI may get dropped to negligent driving or reckless driving.
  • Informal agreements: These work like stipulated orders of continuance, except they are not written down. Prosecutors agree with a defendant that if he or she stays clean, sober and out of trouble, gets treatment or performs community service, the criminal charge will be reduced or dismissed.

Do you want to discuss deferred prosecution? Call Olympia deferred prosecution lawyer John E. Turner at 360-464-1650, or contact him using this e-mail form.