how to avoid a misdemeanor conviction in dc


How to Avoid a Misdemeanor Conviction in DC

The DC Misdemeanor and Traffic Community Court (DCMTCC) was set up to streamline the practice and reduce recidivism using a problem-solving approach.    Therefore, established programs were set up a few years ago to do just that.   The cases are prosecuted by the Office of Attorney General for the District of Columbia.   The Judge and the Courtroom is determined by the location of the city you were arrested.    DC Superior Court has 3 calendars to handle DCMTCC cases.   D.C. Calendar 1 handles arrests from the First, Second, Third, and Fourth Districts of the Metropolitan Police Department and U.S. Secret Service arrests. These matters are heard in courtroom 120, with citation returns on Thursdays. D.C. Calendar 2 handles arrests from the Fifth and Sixth Districts. These matters are heard in courtroom 115, with citation returns on Tuesdays. D.C. Calendar 3 handles arrests from the Seventh District and U.S. Park Police and Capitol Police arrests. These matters are heard in courtroom 116, with citation returns on Wednesdays.

What Options are Available to Avoid a Conviction?

DCMTCC objective is to focus on correcting the underlying problem, completing community service, posting and forfeiting a monetary amount, completing drug or alcohol programs, requiring the defendant to follow through on social services referrals, by allowing the defendant to enter into a deferred agreement with the Office of the Attorney General.

What is a deferred Sentencing Agreement (DSA)?

A DSA requires the defendant to plead guilty to one or more of the charges.  Sentencing is delayed for a period of time (ie. 6 months or 1 year).    If the terms of the agreement are completed, the defendant will with withdraw his plea and the case will be dismissed.  If the terms are not completed the Court will move forward with sentencing and the defendant will have a conviction on his/her record.

What is a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA)?

Unlike a DSA the defendant does not have to plead guilty.   If the terms of the agreement are completed the prosecutor will dismiss the case.   The major difference between a DPA and DSA is that the DSA requires the defendant to plead guilty.  It should be understood that if the agreement is completed with either a DSA or DPA the case will be dismissed.

What are the Terms of the Agreement with a DPA or DSA?

The terms of the agreement vary from individual to individual.    This is why you need a criminal lawyer to advocate to make the terms as favorable as possible.  For example, let’s suppose you were arrested for drinking in public.  The prosecutor may agree to a DPA if the defendant completed an alcohol program.     If you were arrested for misrepresentation of age, the prosecutor may want you to complete some community service for a dismissal.  So you see each case is different and the agreement will be based on the charge.

Need more information:

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