Jefferson Memorial

Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) in D.C.

A deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) is a pre-trial “diversion program” that is normally offered to first-time offenders of a minor offense.  As with all diversion programs, a DPA is an agreement between the government and the defendant in which the defendant performs a set of conditions in exchange for the charges being dismissed before trial.  The defendant does not admit guilt by entering into such an agreement.

Although the terms of a DPA are negotiable, the typical DPA provides for the defendant to perform 32 hours of community service over a four-month period. If the defendant fails to perform his end of the agreement, he or she is put back into the same position the defendant faced before the diversion program; that is, facing criminal charges.

Although some clients might prefer to exercise their constitutional right to a trial, a DPA is generally a good outcome for the defendant.  After all, in contrast to a trial in which the outcome can be unpredictable in even the best-case scenario, successful completion of the DPA is completely within the control of the defendant:  the defendant knows that the charges will be dismissed just as soon as he or she successfully completes the agreed-upon conditions.

Jamison Koehler has a proven track record of securing favorable diversion programs for clients.  Please feel free to contact him at 202-549-2374 or with any questions.