A D.C. court judge recently dismissed a charge for disobeying an officer against a transgender activist who was arrested a week earlier while participating in a transgender protest in North Washington. The defendant was initially charged with assault and disobeying an officer, but the Office of the Attorney General later dropped the assault charge and considered diversion eligibility for the defendant.
Types of Diversion Programs
Defendants may be eligible to have charged “diverted,” if diversion is eligibile. Diversion programs include:
- Deferred prosecution agreement
- Deferred sentencing agreement
Diversion programs are agreements between the government and the defendant whereby the government dismisses a charge upon the defendant’s satisfactory completion of specific conditions, such as community service and staying out of trouble for a specified period.
Deferred Prosecution Agreement
Under the terms of a deferred prosecution agreement, the defendant does not enter a plea of guilty or not guilty and is required to fulfill specific conditions. For its part, the prosecution will dismiss the charges upon proof of the defendant’s satisfactory fulfillment of the diversion program’s requirements.
Deferred Sentencing Agreement
In deferred sentencing, an eligible defendant enters a guilty plea and the government postpones sentencing to a later date while the defendant is given the opportunity to complete specific requirements set out in the agreement. If the defendant satisfies the conditions of his agreement, the guilty plea is withdrawn and the charges are dismissed.
Under this type of diversion program, the government offers to dismiss a charge on condition that the defendant pays a small fine. A one-day or two-day community service is often included in the requirements for diversion.
Diversion programs are supervised by the court and finally approved by judges. These options allow defendants an opportunity to have their charges dismissed without entering a plea of guilty and without serving sentence.
Your Washington D.C. Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help
If you are arrested and charged with an offense, ask your criminal defense attorney about options such as diversion eligibility. Your attorney can assess the charges against you, weigh the evidence against you, and determine your chances for diversion eligibility without entering a guilty plea.
In Washington, D.C., the law firm of Lotze Mosley, LLP has over 25 years of combined criminal defense experience, helping clients obtain favorable outcomes that can include a dismissal through diversion eligibility. We invite you to call us today at (202) 393-0535 to learn more about your options in diversion programs.