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Understanding Deferred Sentencing Agreement

Washington D.C. DUI Diversion Program


DUI charges and penalties apply when someone commits a crime while underage drinking, intoxicated or possesses a fake ID.When a person commits a crime due to underage drinking or any other form of intoxication or possesses a fake ID, they will be charged with DUI and receive penalties associated with driving under the influence. However, with the help of an experienced DUI Lawyer in Washington, D.C., first-time offenders may be able to defer sentencing for the crime under a negotiated agreement. Deferring a sentence allows a defendant to protect their record from a criminal conviction so long as the defendant agrees to specific conditions outlined in the deferred sentencing agreement.


What Does it Mean When a Sentence Has Been Deferred?


A sentence may be deferred or delayed when it’s the first time the offender is found guilty of a crime which could include simple assault, driving under the influence of alcohol, or other similar offenses. An agreement is made between the defendant and the government to this effect.

In legal terms, a deferred sentence agreement (D.S.A.) is a delayed or suspended crime conviction that will not be executed until the defendant meets specific criteria. The suspension period is often termed as probation, and the criteria they must meet are often conditions set by the court.


Deferred Sentencing Agreement

A deferred sentencing agreement is a pathway to a second chance. It is a voluntary agreement between a defendant and the government. The defendant agrees to waive their right to a trial and plead guilty to the crime. But instead of the defendant being sentenced, the government will give them specific conditions they need to complete, like community service. 

Once the defendant successfully completes all conditions, they will be set free by the court, and they can withdraw the guilty plea. As a result, they will be exonerated from any government charges. This agreement protects their record from having any convictions.

However, if the agreement is not successfully completed, the defendant will be convicted under the guilty plea, the conviction will go into their record, and they will be sentenced accordingly.

What Does a Deferred Prosecution Agreement Mean in Legal Terms?


A deferred prosecution agreement (D.P.A.) is an agreement between a defendant and the prosecutor. In this case, the defendant will be given some conditions and agreements; then, the court will suspend the prosecution once they fulfill the required agreement.

However, there is a significant difference between a deferred sentencing agreement and a deferred prosecution agreement. D.P.A. has been granted to organizations rather than individuals more often over the last few years. It is primarily used in cases of fraud, bribery, and other economic criminal acts.


Is Getting a Deferred Sentence Agreement the Same as Being Convicted?


On most occasions, deferring is different from conviction. Sometimes, one needs to be careful because agencies like customs, immigration, and the motor vehicles department in D.C. consider a deferred sentencing agreement the same as a conviction.

Types of Crimes Eligible for a Deferred Sentencing Agreement


So long as it’s the first time the offender is found guilty of the crime, they can defer the sentences for some specified period. The type of crimes a deferred agreement can be offered for include:

  • Driving under the influence of intoxicating substances for the first time

  • Underage drinking

  • Operating a vehicle while impaired

  • Taking alcohol in public transport vehicles

  • Having an alcohol container inside a person’s vehicle.


Conditions of a Deferred Sentencing Agreement


For a sentence to be deferred and the offender to be set free again, the offender cannot commit any other crimes within the specified period. Additionally, they are required to complete the conditions set by the court and provide a formal guilty admission that they committed the crime as charged.

Generally, the duration for deferring a sentence is usually six months to one year. Within this period, the offender should fulfill all the conditions. Once they meet their obligations, the government will automatically remove all DUI penalties, dismiss their case, and the court will withdraw alc DUI Charges.

Benefits of a Deferred Sentencing Agreement


Some cases can be deferred, and others cannot. However, people still want their cases to be delayed because having a conviction in their records can be an eyesore. Aside from this, deferring the sentencing agreement has a lot of other benefits, such as the following:

  • It improves law enforcement’s ability to identify crimes, especially in a climate where people are afraid of going to jail or being sentenced.

  • It also saves the government funds and resources since it prevents lengthy court hearings and proceedings.

  • It saves the defendant’s record from having any criminal history.


Consequences of Failure to Abide by the Conditions of the Deferred Sentencing Agreement


The consequences of not abiding by the terms of the deferred sentence agreement are grave. If a person is found guilty of not abiding by the conditions, their deferred sentence will be revoked, and the judge has the authority to add additional sentences. Aside from receiving the initial convictions, the offender can even end up in jail in some scenarios.

How Can a Criminal Attorney Help with a Deferred Sentencing Agreement?


Once a person is found guilty of underage drinking, using a fake ID while driving, or driving under the influence of an alcoholic substance, they will be facing DUI and fake ID charges. Their attorney may advise them to enter a deferred sentencing agreement if this is a first-time offense. A deferring sentence agreement should not be entered into lightly. If the defendant fails to meet the conditions of the agreement, they will be convicted and serve penalties for that crime.

A criminal conviction on your record could negatively impact your future. Contacting a criminal attorney familiar with deferred sentencing agreements under Washington, D.C. law is an excellent idea. Scrofano Law PC is experienced in criminal law and has the resources to examine your case, develop a solid defense strategy, negotiate a reduced charge, and protect your rights.

Don’t gamble with your future! Contact us for an initial consultation today. 


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