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Deferred Prosecution: Two DUIs in Seven Days?

Can you enter into a deferred prosecution if you get two DUIs within seven days? The answer is yes.

What is Deferred Prosecution?

RCW 10.05 outlines deferred prosecution in Washington State. Deferred prosecution is a program in which a defendant may participate if he or she meets certain criteria, such as receiving treatment for mental health or substance abuse. One of the criteria is that the charge must be a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor. This can include a DUI charge.

What Are the Limitations of Deferred Prosecution?

A person may only enter into a deferred prosecution once in a lifetime; however, the RCW states that “separate offenses committed more than seven days apart may not be consolidated in a single program.” RCW 10.05.010.

How Does the Law Define Seven Days?

The statute itself does not define a day, so there is no way of knowing if the lawmaker meant 24 hours, a calendar day, or a business day. The Washington State Supreme Court ruled in 2002 that if a statute is silent on the computation of time, then Washington State Superior Court Civil Rules 6 can be applied. Capello v. State, 114 Wash. App. 739, 60 P.3d 620 (2002). CR6 states, “In computing any period of time prescribed or allowed by these rules, by the local rules of any superior court, by order of court, or by any applicable statute, the day of the act, event, or default from which the designated period of time begins to run shall not be included.” Washington State Superior Court Civil Rules 6.

Therefore, if you have been charged with two separate DUIs that are eight calendar days apart, you may still be eligible for a deferred prosecution. The day of the first DUI does not count towards computing the seven-day limit stated in the RCW.

If you have been charged with a DUI (or two!), please call Powers Law Group at 360-419-0809 for a consultation.