Diversion Options in DC Superior Court - Video

Available diversion options in DC Superior Court

Transcript of Video

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. My name is Mark Rollins. I’m a lawyer here in Washington, DC. I practice at the law firm, Rollins & Chan. Today we’re going to be discussing misdemeanor diversion options that are not part of the problem solving courts. There are diversion options that are part of the problem solving courts, such as mental health court and drug court. They offer their own diversion options for misdemeanor cases. What I’m talking about today are four typical diversion options that are available in misdemeanor court, regular, traditional misdemeanor court in DC. The first one is deferred prosecution agreement. It’s the easiest of the four. Actually, maybe the second easiest out of the four. Under the deferred prosecution agreement, the individual will come in, he’ll sign an agreement and the U. S. Attorney’s Office consents that the person will be allowed to participate in that program and he’ll sign an agreement that says that in four months, he will complete community service and he will come back on the four month date and the government will dismiss the case. His community service is run by the DC courts and so he will be told, after signing his agreement, to go down to room C-195, sign the agreement, and come back in four months. The second diversion option is called deferred sentencing agreement. Under that agreement, the person must plead guilty to the charges. So the U. S. Attorney’s Office has to consent to this. The person pleads guilty to the charges, and he also will do community service. He also will go down to C- 195 and he will enroll in this community service and he will come back in his four month period. The difference between the two, deferred prosecution and deferred sentencing, is that the person has already entered a plea on the deferred sentencing agreement. So if he does not complete his community service or he gets in trouble and re-arrested, the government can move immediately to sentencing, as he has not completed the terms of the agreement. So you see the difference between those two. The next one is called a STET, and that’s what you typically find in most jurisdictions, where basically the government just says if you stay out of trouble, in six months we will dismiss the case. That’s under a STET agreement. And finally the last one that we’ll discuss today is called mediation. That typically happens on an assault case or a threats case where the parties may know each other to some degree. They’re not related by blood but they know each other. Maybe, they live in the same building. The U. S. Attorney’s Office will arrange for mediation and they’ll participate and sit down at a mediation table and discuss the terms of how to better their relationship. Under that agreement, the person will come back to court, and if they complete the terms of the mediation, the case will be dismissed. Now there may be other options under some diversion options that I’ve not talked about today and, again, whether you’re eligible for those diversion options comes down to a lot. When is your attorney negotiating with the U. S. Attorney’s Office, the facts of the case, and some other issues? So it’s always advisable to seek an experienced criminal attorney and I hope you continue to watch our channel. I’m Mark Rollins. Thanks for watching. Thanks. Bye.