Can I do a deferred prosecution for a Washington State DUI if I do not live in Washington State?
A brief guide to Washington deferred prosecutions for out-of-state persons.
IntroductionThe scenario presented here is if you live outside of Washington, but received a DUI or Physical Control charge while in Washington, say on vacation, can you do an RCW 10.05 deferred prosecution?
So, what makes this issue complicated? The complicating factor is that a deferred prosecution requires the person seeking it to do two years of treatment followed and an additional three years of probation.
The statute makes reference that the treatment must be done in an "approved substance use disorder treatment program as designated in chapter 71.24 RCW." RCW 71.24 states that an "'[a]pproved substance use disorder treatment program' means a program for persons with a substance use disorder provided by a treatment program licensed or certified by the department [of Social and Health Services] as meeting standards adopted under this chapter." The qualifications for DSHS approval are somewhat onerous.
Normally, this would mean that someone who lived in Connecticut and got a DUI in Washington who wanted to pursue a deferred prosecution in Washington would have to do their treatment at a DSHS approved facility. DSHS will only approve facilities in Washington. So, effectively, the out-of-state person would have to move to Washington for two years to do their treatment. The problem should be obvious: that someone who lives in Connecticut should not be deprived of the ability to pursue a deferred prosecution due to the fact that they live in Connecticut.
A relatively simple solutionOkay, so what next? Well, if you look at RCW 10.05.150, you will see that it states that "[a]ll treatment within the purview of this section shall occur within or be approved by a state-approved substance use disorder treatment program as described in [chapter 71.24 RCW]." The "or be approved by" language is key. You may have a state-approved agency approve the out-of-state treatment agencies plan. So, the person in Connecticut would seek out a treatment agency in Connecticut, and have the an approved Washington agency review and approve the plan.
ConclusionBe sure contact a lawyer who is familiar with deferred prosecutions and the deferred prosecution statutes in order to make the process as painless as possible!