It’s A Contract Between You And The DA’s Office
Video Transcribed: You’ve just been arrested, you’ve just been ticketed, you have talked to investigators who are investigating you for an offense. What can you do at that moment, right here before anything is filed, that could impact your case? Well, you could try to get a deferred prosecution agreement or a DPA.
My name is Ryan Cannonie, I am the Tahlequah criminal defense attorney for the Wirth Law Office in Tahlequah. A deferred prosecution agreement is an agreement between the accused and the state, the DA’s office, to not file a criminal case for certain agreements.
Basically, it’s a contract between you and the DA’s office where you agree to the rules of supervision, you agree to pay, usually a decent amount of money, it’s probably going to be about the same amount of money you would have paid had they filed the case, but you never have to worry about a case being dismissed or expunged, it just isn’t there. A DPA agreement’s there, after the agreement is finished, it goes away.
The only record of it is there is a public record while it’s being offered. Sometimes newspapers here in Tahlequah used to go and ask for them. I don’t believe they still do. They used to print them every six months or so. I don’t know if they still do that anymore.
That’s something to kind of consider on this, is that newspapers can print who has received a DPA. But, the benefits of a DPA are, like I said, you don’t have a case, so there’s any information out there alleging you of certain acts that everyone can go and read. There’s not any public real view other than they can say there is a DPA with you.
So, if you find yourself in a situation where you’re considering… Either you’ve been offered a DPA, I know some districts I’ve worked in over the years when I was a prosecutor, first-time marijuana offenses got an automatic if you want it DPA. Petty larceny or larceny of merchandise from a retailer, shoplifting from Walmart, they would get DPAs.
So if you find yourself in a situation where you’ve either been offered one, or you are in a situation where they’re still investigating, you just bonded out, you haven’t been charged with something yet, come talk to us. We can try to talk about what are the costs and benefits of a DPA, and do we think we can get one? And if so, retain us, we’ll go talk to the DA’s office and see if they would agree to it.
Now, DPA is like much of what you do, especially in criminal law, the sooner, the better. If you have a case filed against you and you wait until the night before your jury trial to get an attorney, their hands are pretty tied on what they can and can’t do. Same thing with starting at the beginning of the case.
If you wait until after a case has already been filed against you, the DA has signed on the line, it’s been given a case number, most prosecutors are highly unlikely to dismiss that, because to give a DPA to you, they would have to dismiss their information, then they would have to do an agreement with you, and then if you breach the agreement, it’s kind of like a contract.
If you fail to uphold your end of it, if you violate your rules of supervision they’ll give you because they will put you on some form of DA supervision, then they can go ahead and file the case.
Well, for a prosecutor, it makes no sense to dismiss a case, to file an agreement, to then file a case if you mess up. They’ve got a lot of stuff they’re working on, and so it’s just more work for them.
So if you don’t catch them before they file a case, a lot of times they won’t allow you to have one, even if you have an attorney. So it’s really imperative that from the moment you bond out, you’re calling an attorney. Call us and we can help walk you through the process.