Deferred Prosecution in Collin County By Bo Kalabus

Deferred Prosecution Agreements are certainly different than both deferred adjudications, and deferred dispositions. The latter two are covered by Texas statute. Deferred Prosecution, however, is not.

Deferred Prosecutions are basically informal agreements between the defense lawyer, the defendant, and the prosecutor to dismiss a case up front, that is, in advance of the accused agreeing to some concessions. The process is called “informal”, not to minimize the seriousness of the agreement, but to point out that it’s not statutory, and the paperwork is not filed with the Court.

Because it is not available by statute, not all County prosecutors even enter into the agreement. Fortunately, those accused of Class A and Class B misdemeanor crimes in Collin County are potentially eligible, because the Collin County District Attorney’s Office may consider the option (although not guaranteed) in some cases.

In many ways, Deferred Prosecutions on Class A and B misdemeanors are similar to deferred dispositions on Class C misdemeanors. There is no formal probation where the defendant reports monthly – instead, the person is simply on “his or her own probation”. The terms negotiated in these cases are usually more severe than those on a Class C traffic ticket or public intoxication level offense.

Successfully completed Deferred Prosecutions are eligible for complete expunctions, unlike individuals on Deferred Adjudication. The reason for this is because Deferred Adjudication requires formal probation reporting, which this formality makes expunction impossible. Usually the best option for Deferred Adjudication is a Motion for Non Disclosure-and this only happens if the person is eligible for such an order in the firs place.

The downside of Deferred Prosecution agreements however, is that an individual has to confess to be eligible. The idea behind this is a person must take responsibility for their actions, or at least that is the idea of the program. This admission becomes a big problem if the individual does not do what they are supposed to (could be community service, a class, or simply staying out of trouble), because the District Attorney’s Office will refile the initial charges and now that person’s confession will generally make the DA’s case against them.

 

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