In Kitsap County District Court, often people accused of DUI or other crimes hear the term Pre-Trial Diversion Agreement, or PDA. Many people call to ask us “what is a PDA? and, is it a good deal?” I will answer that in two parts.
1. What is a PDA?
A PDA is a contract that a defendant, in some situations, can enter into with the State attorney. It is an agreement to “be good” for typically two years and abide by some negotiated conditions. The conditions typically are pay a probation assessment of about $400, pay restitution to the law enforcement agency, obtain a chemical dependency evaluation (and follow through) and finally, complete a defensive driving class. The “be good’ that I referenced means commit no new crimes for the duration of the agreement.
If these conditions are met during the agreed upon time period, typically the charge of DUI is reduced down to the lesser charge of Negligent Driving in the First Degree. This will come with zero days in jail and a nominal fine.
Again, not everyone qualifies for such a contract, but if you are accused of a DUI, you should always find out if such a deal can be offered. Issues that preclude the State attorney from offering this contract include, but are not limited to – priors, refusing the breath test, or a high blow.
2. Is it a good deal?
That is hard to say. In most circumstances, yes. In other circumstances it is not a good deal. For example, if a defendant has a great suppression issue, then that defendant may need his attorney to push for an outright dismissal of the case. It is absolutely a case by case call. There are a vast number of defenses that can be present that only a DUI Defense attorney could recognize.
What should I do if I am accused of DUI or any crime in District or Municipal Court?
You need to contact a well-respected defense attorney right away. There are some defenses that are time sensitive. A PDA may be a good deal, and it may not. It all comes down to the facts of your individual case. The attorneys at Witt Law Group have been defending DUI and criminal defense cases in Western Washington for more than 17 years. We handle DUI cases in Kitsap, Pierce and Thurston Counties and all the municipalities therein. Call our offices Bremerton, Poulsbo or Gig Harbor for a free, private consultation.