What do I do if I am charged with a Misdemeanor in DC

DC Criminal Lawyers in DCQuestion is:  What do I do if I am charged with a misdemeanor in DC? There are number of ways to resolve misdemeanors absent a trial or plea. All of the options are by no means an exhaustive list of resolving one’s misdemeanor matter in D.C. Superior Court. It should also be noted that the decision whether to admit a defendant into a diversion program rests completely within the discretion of the U.S. Attorney’ s Office.Usually the U.S. Attorney’s Office will not allow a defendant to enroll into a diversion program once a case is set for trial. The following is a brief description of each program, a non-inclusive list of eligibility requirements, and procedures for requesting admission . A rearrest during the diversionary period will lead to removal from the program and reinstatement of the case on the trial calendar. Codefendants are not eligible for diversion unless each co-defendant is admitted into a diversion program or each co-defendant’s case is resolved by plea at the status hearing. You should also note that changes are made periodically; and therefore, new requirements may be added at anytime. Please consult an experienced D.C. Attorney before relying on this information.

Diversion Agreement:

If charged with a misdemeanor in DC you can may be offered to participate in diversion.    Must perform community service, remain drugfree, and work or be in school.   Eligibility: Defendant must have no prior convictions, pending cases, or previously have benefitted from diversion in any jurisdiction. The defendant must not be charged with more than two offenses. Moreover, none of these charges can be a weapons offense, a drug offense (except possession of marijuana), or an assault case where the complaining witness was injured in any way. Finally, a defendant who tests positive at lock-up for a drug other than marijuana is ineligible. All other first time offenders will be considered for diversion on a case-by-case basis. Requirements: Admit criminal responsibility, pay restitution (if appropriate), abide by a curfew and/or a stay away from the location of the offense, and/or perform community service hours of community service. Procedure: Upon successful completion of the program, the United States will enter a nolle prosequi.

Drug Court:

Offered to defendants who cannot remain drug-free. Requires twice-weekly drug testing and sanctions for failing to meet program requirements. Drug treatment may be residential or out-patient.

STET Docket:

Offered to defendants charged with unlawful entry and some other minor offenses.   Requires defendant to stay away from the area at issue for nine months.

Mental Health Diversion Court:

Offered to defendants, generally those charged with non-violent offenses, who are diagnosed with and receiving treatment for mental health issues.

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