Should I Take a Deferred Prosecution Agreement?
When you have been charged with a criminal offense in Wisconsin, you may be offered an opportunity to enter into a Deferred Prosecution Agreement. It can be difficult to determine if that is a good idea in your particular case. There are a lot of things to consider.
Deferred Prosecution Agreement in Wisconsin
When you are offered a deferred prosecution agreement, or DPA, you will often be required to enter a guilty plea to an offense that you are charged with. The Court will defer the entry of a judgment of conviction against you, and therefore you will not be convicted. However, by entering your plea, you waive some very important rights that it can be very difficult, if not impossible, to get back once you have waived them.
By entering a plea on a DPA, you waive your right to challenge the case. You cannot file any motions to suppress evidence or statements, and you are giving up your right to a trial. However, in exchange for giving up these rights, a DPA offers the opportunity to have charges reduced or dismissed completely if you successfully complete the terms of the agreement.
Most DPAs will include requirements that you complete AODA (alcohol and other drug abuse) counseling, and provide negative drug screens throughout the length of the agreement. You may also be required to complete community service and pay restitution to any victims in your case. If you have been offered a DPA, be sure to read the terms very carefully, as it will contain specific time requirements for completion of the conditions of your agreement.
If you successfully complete the terms of your agreement, you can receive significant benefits from doing so. Felony charges can be reduced to misdemeanors or tickets, or your case can be dismissed altogether. However, if you do not successfully complete the terms, your DPA can be revoked, and you will be sentenced on whatever charge you pled to when you entered into your agreement. This could result in a felony conviction depending on your charges.
DPAs can offer a great opportunity to minimize the effects of a criminal case. However, you should carefully consider your options before you enter into a DPA, because you will waive certain rights. Contact our team of award-winning attorneys to discuss your options, and let us help you decide whether a DPA is right for you.
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