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What Do You Call The Criminal Option??

Olympia, WA |

There is a procedure and I can't think of the name, term...

I heard of and read about "delayed prosecution" but my understanding is WA ST doesn't offer that option and there is "divert" down to a lower court and charge, but there was another one year delay option and I can't think of the term, benefits or what's required of the defendant(s), any takers??

It sounded similar to delayed prosecution.

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Attorney answers 5


There are many such options. It really depends on if the charge is a property crime, DUI, or drug crime.

Misdemeanor Options:

Compromise of a Misdemeanor - turns a crime into a civil contract for payment of damages and dismisses the criminal case.

Pre-trial Diversion Agreement - also called a Stipulated Order of Continuance, Stay of Proceedings, Continuance without a Finding. All are really the same. Defendant waives right to trial, speedy trial, and other rights, stipulates to the admissibility of the police reports if he or she fails the program - at which point the judge reads the reports and 99.99% of the time finds the defendant guilty. If the defendant succeeds - which means jumps through all the hoops (treatment etc) and has no new criminal charges - the case is dismissed and there is never a conviction.

Deferred Sentence - Defendant pleads guilty and sentence is deferred. He or she jumps through all the hoops and has no new convictions and then after 1 or 2 years the plea is vacated and the case is dismissed.

Deferred Prosecution - is usually for DUI or can be used on other crimes if alcohol abuse or mental health issues are the cause of the criminal conduct. Like a diversion, there is no plea of guilty but there is usually 24 months of intensive treatment, and then a probationary period of up to five years before the case is dismissed.

Felony: Depending on the county, there can be felony diversion options. There are many types and various approaches.

That said - no lawyer can really advise a defendant of his or her options without being hired or appointed and after having the opportunity to fully review a defendant's case and criminal history.

Shane Silverthorn



Sorry for confusion, charge is gross misdemeanor, non D V, non traffic. non violent non drug.


Deferred Prosecution? You need to give more facts. Deferred Prosecution is a treatment plan laid out in Statute. There are other County specific resolutions (Continuance without Findings, Pre Trial Diversion, etc..) but they are not statutory and are the creation of specific Counties. You need to state where you are.


What you are describing are terms of art (fancy lawyer speak for descriptions of options or terms in legalese) from other jurisdictions that generally don't apply to Washington courts. But most Washington courts offer options that are similar. Its just that you can't go up to the prosecutor and ask "May I have a delayed prosecution?" without getting the fish eye, but ask the right prosecutor for a "Stipulated Order of Continuance" and you might get something similar. In Washington, there is generally no "delaying" the filing of the charge for plea options. And this is really only true for misdemeanors, not felonies. It's not hard, just detailed and difficult to explain unless everyone is understanding what is happening.


Like the previous attorneys said, there are many different options (some have different names in different courts). We would need to know what type of case you are asking about in order to tell you what options apply to that charge. Some diversions result in a less serious charge, some in dismissal.

In Washington, we have deferred prosecution, deferred sentence, pre-trial diversion, stipulated order of continuane aka cintinuance without finding, to name a few. Pierce County has their own El Cid diversion program, Thurston County has Friendship diversion, etc.


There are many options - that go by many names in various courts and jurisdictions. This options are more likely to occur in District Court than in Superior Court with a felony charge.

Answers to questions are for general purposes only and do not establish an attorney-client relationship.

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