We here at SQ Attorneys often get asked if someone can ‘defer’ a DUI. What the question is inquiring about is whether a DUI can be dismissed by way of a ‘deferred finding’, wherein the person’s DUI is dismissed if the person stays out of driving trouble for a year, completes a traffic safety course and pays a fee/ fine pursuant to IRLJ 3.6
A deferred finding applies to infractions, not crimes. They apply to cases like speeding, failing to use a turn signal, and inattention to driving, not to DUI, Reckless Driving or Negligent Driving First Degree. The latter two can sometimes be resolved by a ‘deferred sentence’, wherein the person is ‘convicted’ of the charge for some period of time, and if the person successfully complies with the terms of their sentence during that period of time the case will be dismissed. However, during the period of time it is a conviction on their record. A DUI can be resolved by way of a ‘deferred’ … however the deferred is neither a deferred finding nor a deferred sentence, it is a ‘deferred prosecution’. See RCW 10.05. A deferred prosecution involves a five year probationary period, inclusive of two years of alcohol/ drug treatment consisting of three phases with a de-escalation of intensity throughout the two years. It also requires, among other things, that the person maintain an ignition interlock device for a minimum of 1 year. In short, a deferred prosecution is neither a deferred finding nor a deferred sentence.
If cited for DUI in Washington state be smart and immediately seek the assistance of a Seattle DUI lawyer. A qualified and respected Seattle DUI attorney can quite possibly save a person thousands of dollars in court and insurance fees. Washington DUI laws are far too complicated for any ol’ attorney to handle. Be smart … hire a qualified and skilled Seattle DUI attorney when arrested for DUI in Washington State.