Tulsa Attorney BlogWhat is a Deferred Prosecution Agreement in Oklahoma?

There are Different Types of Sentences in a Case

Video Transcribed: What is a deferred prosecution agreement in Oklahoma? I’m Tulsa attorney James Wirth. We’re about to talk about a deferred prosecution.

All right, so there’s lots of different types of sentences that could be entered in a case, and this is kind of along those lines, but it happens a little bit before then. It’s called a deferred prosecution agreement. Not to be confused with the deferred sentence, which is something that is different.

So there’s usually two ways about a deferred prosecution agreement that it gets worked out. Sometimes it happens before a criminal case is filed. So there’s an investigation going on and there’s negotiations going on with the prosecutor.

This happens a lot of times with bogus checks. So if a bogus check gets turned into the DA’s office, a lot of times they’ll contact the person and they workout a payment plan on it. And as an exchange for working out that payment plan, basically what the prosecutor is saying, “Look, if you agree to this payment plan, we won’t file criminal charges at this time, but you also have to agree and essentially admit guilt.”

So they get their admission of guilt that they can use later and they avoid having to file a criminal charges, and then the person that issue there avoids having the criminal case and to worry about all of that. So as long as they continue making their payments on that plan, the prosecutor closes out their file once that’s done without it ever being filed with the court. That’s a deferred prosecution agreement doesn’t require court approval. It’s between the prosecutor and the person that issue.

The other way that it happens is a criminal case is filed, so it’s already moving formally through the court and through negotiations with the prosecutor, an agreement is worked out for them to dismiss their case. So they dismiss it outright pursuant to an agreement just between the defendant and the prosecutor, with the attorney generally working it out that says, “If you do these various things over this period of time, then we’ll close out this file without refiling it.”

And those could be the typical types of thing that you would see while somebody’s on probation, although they’re not technically on probation here because it’s not done with the court. And that could be if it was a bogus check, it’s payment of restitution.

Could be anything really that’s worked out. Could be work hours, could be where your larceny prevention class or something more specific to the crime that a person is alleged to have committed.

But whatever it is, you’ve got your certain things that you’ve got to do and you’ve got a certain time period that you do it. And if you complete that appropriately, then the case has never filed. The prosecution closes out their file without going forward with the court.

So you don’t have an arrest potentially you don’t have a filing, you don’t have a court record. So it’s a good way to kind of get things done without everything being very public. But they are somewhat rare.

Once a case has been filed, it’s very rare to get these worked out and outside of bogus checks or special programs the DA might be doing, it’s sometimes difficult to get them done before there’s a filing as well.

But in my experience, when I see a case, when I talk to somebody that sided or charged with something that the case is so very extremely weak, sometimes we can get in and talk the prosecutor before the formal charges are filed. So this could be after an arrest or a citation, but before the charges are filed.

And then we get to talk to a prosecutor and we convince them in the weaknesses of the case and avoid the whole thing from being filed at all. Or get an agreement for the deferred prosecution agreement to prevent it from being filed. So that’s essentially the basics of a deferred prosecution agreement. If you’ve got further questions about this or want a legal consult, you can find me or the people at my office at makelaweasy.com.

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