A Major Benefit of a Deferred Prosecution Agreement Is You’re Not Being Prosecuted
Video Transcribed: What are the benefits of a deferred prosecution agreement in Oklahoma? I’m a Lawyer in Tulsa, James Wirth, I’m doing a couple of videos regarding deferred prosecution agreements, and this one deals with what are the benefits of that?
Okay, so the primary benefit of a deferred prosecution agreement is that you’re not actually technically being prosecuted. So, that means that there’s an allegation that you committed a crime, perhaps an investigation, and a police report goes to the DA.
And they decide perhaps to allow you to do a deferred prosecution agreement, which means that they don’t actually file the “information.” They don’t file criminal charges. So it never actually gets filed with the court. So it’s not a public record with the court. It’s in a file with the DA’s office that is not generally available to the public.
Technically speaking, while you’re still under that deferred prosecution agreement, which lasts a maximum of three years, it still could be found by somebody by filing an Open Records Act request to get that information.
But that’s a process they’d have to go through, and it’s not readily available as if it were filed like in district court, where you can just search online. Anybody can. It takes two seconds to find that charge. So the first benefit is that it’s less available to the public, so less likely that people are going to find it, and it’s going to hurt your reputation. That’s the first one.
It allows you to do certain things outside of court based on your agreement with the DA. It could be different things to better yourself. Probation, obviously, you can’t get into any more trouble.
There’s generally going to be a rule of that. In order to enter the agreement, they usually do want you to confess so that they establish evidence against you.
If you have a property that was taken as evidence, it allows under the law then to photograph that and that to be good evidence going forward so you can get your property back. Whereas if they file criminal charges, they hold onto that to use as evidence at a trial in the future.
So, that’s another benefit. You can get your property back perhaps more quickly. You avoid the possibility of a conviction. You don’t have it as public. Once you complete the terms of that deferred prosecution agreement, it then is not even available through an Open Records Act request.
So you don’t have to go to court, don’t have the fines and costs associated with that, and don’t have to worry about the conviction being on your record long-term from that. So there’s a lot less risk involved from that.
So, for people that are eligible for it and are able to do it, it can be a good option. The one thing is in order to even look into that as a potential option, you’ve got to get in front of it because they file those criminal charges usually pretty quick.
So if you are under investigation, you’ve got to be dealing with the DA’s office before they get to that stage, or better yet, have an attorney representing you on your behalf dealing with the DA’s office to see if the deferred prosecution agreement is an option for you, that may be the best option for you.
But you’re going to want to talk to an Oklahoma attorney about your circumstances privately and confidentially. If you do want to schedule an appointment with a Tulsa Criminal Defense Attorney in my office contact me today.