How do I keep my criminal record clean? (Washington D.C.)
There are three types diversion programs generally offered by the US attorneys Office in Washington D.C. in criminal cases. Mediation, Deferred Prosecution, and Deferred Sentencing Agreement. Each diversion program allows a person charged criminally with theft, simple assault, DUI, sexual solicitation, and trespass or unlawful entry with ultimately having their case dismissed and potential sealing of their arrest record if successfully completed.
A defendant cannot have been convicted of or serve probation/ parole /supervised release for any firearms offense, any sex offense (with the exception of solicitation of prostitution) or violent felony offense within the past ten years. Please note that there are certain serious arrests and convictions that will disqualify a defendant for diversion regardless of the age of the criminal conduct i.e. homicide, rape and other serious sexual or violent offenses.
A defendant cannot have previously benefited from diversion in a D.C. Superior Court case brought by the United States.
A defendant cannot currently be on probation/parole/supervised release or held without bond in a “dangerous crime” as defined by D.C. Code § 23 – 1331.
The defendant cannot have more than two pending cases in D.C. Superior Court with the exception of pending charges brought by the D.C. Office of the Attorney General or for defendants interested in Mental Health Community Court.
For cases with civilian victims who agree to mediate.
Neutral third-party mediators from the Center for Dispute Settlement preside over the remediation sessions. After a successful mediation, the United States either will enter an immediate nolle prosequior will do so after a period of time on the stet docket to monitor restitution, subsequent contacts, and any other conditions agreed to at the mediation session.
Deferred prosecution agreement (DPA)
For defendants with two or fewer prior convictions within the past ten years. The defendant cannot be currently charged with possession of PCP, Possession With The Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance, Distribution of a Controlled Substance, or any firearms offense. The defendant may receive a DPA for a Simple Assault, Threats or Assault on a Police Officer in charge, but only with you USAO supervisory approval.
A DPA lasts for four months. During that time the defendant must perform 32 hours of community service, maintain or seek employment and/or education, and comply with other conditions (i.e. curfew, restitution, stay away).
Deferred sentencing agreement (DSA)
For defendants with a maximum of four prior convictions within the past ten years. However, for defendants charged with Simple Possession of Marijuana, there is no limit on the number of prior convictions. The defendant cannot be currently charged with possession of PCP, Possession With Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance, Distribution of a Controlled Substance, or any firearms offense. The defendant may receive a DSA for a Simple Assault, Threats or Assault on a Police Officer charge, but only with USAO supervisory approval.
A DSA lasts for six months. During that time, the defendant must perform 48 hours of community service, maintain or seek employment and/or education, and comply with other conditions (i.e. curfew, restitution, stay away). The defendant must plead guilty to his or her charge(s) to receive a DSA. The defendant will be allowed to withdraw the guilty plea upon successful completion of the DSA.