If you are facing a Domestic Violence charge in the State of Washington, you may be eligible to enter a rigorous but rewarding treatment plan commonly known as a Deferred Prosecution. A successful Deferred Prosecution ends with the current charge(s) being dismissed, but not everyone is eligible to enter a domestic violence Deferred Prosecution.
The four major factors that determine whether or not a person may be allowed into a Deferred Prosecution are (1) you can not have done a previous Deferred Prosecution, (2) you believe that, without such treatment, you have a high likelihood to reoffend, (3) you must be diagnosed that you are in need of domestic violence treatment, and (4) the case is charged in a District or Municipal Court in the State of Washington.
Benefits of a Domestic Violence Deferred Prosecution
•The case is dismissed
•There is no jail time
•More often than not, even initially reluctant people at the end of the Deferred Prosecution report that is was a very positive experience
Downside of a Domestic Violence Deferred Prosecution
• You are only eligible to enter the program once in your life. If you mess it up, even at the beginning, that was your only shot
•You are waiving substantial rights upon entry of a Deferred. If you fail, it is much easier for the State (or City) to convict you. If the Court deems that you are out of compliance, the Judge simply reads the Officer’s narrative of the events – no trial is held
•In entering a Deferred, you have created a legal record that you are in need of domestic violence prevention treatment
•The entrant bears the cost of the domestic violence treatment program, and the Court costs for the Deferred Prosecution
The Domestic Violence Case Will Be Dismissed
Under RCW 10.05.120(3), the domestic violence case will be dismissed. The Statute states:
The fantastic part (other than getting the case dismissed) about this plan is that the dismissal can happen very quickly. Once a treatment plan is complete, the Court shall dismiss the pending charges. This would typically be in one year, because the average DV treatment plan is one year long. To contrast, Deferred Prosecutions for alcohol are five years, at the minimum.
If you have questions about entering into a Deferred Prosecution for your domestic violence case, give our office a call. We have offices in Gig Harbor, Bremerton and Poulsbo for your convenience.