Between the three options, I would advise most clients to go for the minor DUI. It has the same penalties as a neg 1, is not a serious traffic offense (its a misdemeanor punishable by 90 days and $1000 fine), and unlike Neg 1, doesn't count as a prior offense; but your attorney may have good reasons for the Neg 1. You only have one deferred in your life in Washington, you will have to be on a ignition interlock restricted license for a year (unlike the 90 day suspension period if you go that route), and you are on probation and on the hook for a possible DUI for five years. Listen to your attorney, or seek another but he's giving you good advise.
Every case is different, every client is different, and sometimes little facts make a big impact on what a lawyer will recommend a client do in a situation like this. Since you have a lawyer already on your case, he's the one who can best address your questions. That said, the above answers are good on the basic difference between a Neg 1 and a Minor Driving After Consuming Alcohol charge. The only thing I would add, since you're interested in knowing more about a deferred prosecution, is you should ask your lawyer to really explain to you the things you would have to do to be successful in completing a deferred. Deferred prosecutions are not an easy out. You are monitored closely for a long time, and even small slip-ups can result in revocation, with really bad consequences. So you should factor that in to your decision.
If you are going on Avvo to check on your attorney's advice, there is a bigger problem. If you do not trust your attorney's knowledge and expereince enough, perhaps you should be looking for a new attorney.
Any comments offered are not intended as legal advice. This attorney does not know the specifics of the particular case sufficiently to offer legal advice. You should hire a lawyer who can evaluate the details of your specific situation before offering advice.
I have been asked about this many times and I always give the same advice your attorney did about going deferred. I never recommend it on a first offense. As it has been mentioned above you can only do this one time in your life. I know that you aren't planning on getting another DUI but keep in mind that you didn't plan on getting this one. If you got a second offense DUI within seven years you would be facing a minimum of 30 days jail and that's when you want to go deferred.
If you are sure that you aren't going to get a second offense there are other reasons why you don't want to do this. If you want to get this over with and behind you then the plea might be the way to go. A deferred requires two years of treatment then three more years of inactive probation. It is a huge commitment and a hassle. The only reason you would want to go through all of that is to avoid jailtime or if you are absolutely certain that a conviction to an amended charge is going to have a huge negative impact on you.
Finally, you might not even be eligible to go deferred. To be eligible you have to have an alcohol evaluation for a deferred and it has to come back saying that you have a problem with alcohol and that you need treatment. If this is your first time being in trouble and had minimal enough conduct to be offered those amendments, then it is possible that you aren't even eligible for a deferred prosecution.
You can get an Ignition Interlock License and keep driving. Don't sign up for something this intense just to save your license. You have other options. Listen to your attorney.
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