Deferred Prosecution v. Deferred Sentencing Agreements and the Arrest Record – solicitation cases and other misdemeanors in the District of Columbia:

With the serge of recent arrests in the District of Columbia (DC) for sexual solicitation and the undergoing sting operations with undercover police offices it is important to understand the elements of the crime as well as some of defenses available as discussed in depth:

However, this post addresses some of the diversionary options available short of trial and possible consequence on the arrest record, which ideally should be expunged right after the completion of the prosecution particularly for the possible negative inferences they may draw for the current and future employers, among others, as arrest records are public and readily searchable.

The deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) is the most ideal scenario if offered. With this agreement, generally the government requires 32 hours of community service and few consecutive negative drug test results within a four-month period after which the cases will be formally dismissed in court.

With the deferred sentencing agreement (DSA), the agreement requires a guilty plea up front and a period of time to return back for sentencing – in which if all conditions satisfied – the government would not object to the guilty plea being withdrawn and sentencing vacated and case dismissed.

As far as the arrest record, with DPA you will be eligible to file to a motion to seal the arrest record right away (after completion of the prosecution) based on “actual innocence.”

That is, you have to establish by preponderance of evidence that 1) the offense which arrested or charged with did not occur or that the movant did not commit the offense – essentially that elements of crime did not occur and simply put – you are innocent.

It would be far more difficult to establish innocence if you had entered into a DSA, in which case you had actually plead to the information (charging documents) – thus you may not be eligible to file to seal your arrest record until two years after completion of the prosecution granted there is no disqualifying arrests or convictions. And if convicted of the offense, you may be required to wait for five years before filing to seal your arrest record and meet all other requirements.

The court will grant motion to seal if in the interest of the justice while considering countervailing issue such as interest of the movant v. the community interest; nature of the offense, movant’s character, history and role in the offense, employment history, physical and mental conditions, prior and subsequent conduct, criminal history, etc.

In the solicitations cases if DPA is not offered, or even if offered, it is important to analyze and assess the case carefully and possibly litigate the charges.

If the charging document does not meet the elements of the offense, the case should be dismissed rather than entering into any diversionary agreement with the government. The downside with these agreements is that if you do not satisfy the conditions imposed, or rearrested, you are back to where you started and with DSA (deferred sentencing), such is a guilty plea.

Contact our offices for a detailed cases evaluation and analysis with our DC criminal lawyer.

We believe in comprehensive representation looking far beyond the initial appearances in the case.

Refer to our DC Criminal Lawyer home page for more information on this subject.

Categories: Criminal Defense.