Deferred Prosecution Agreement
A deferred prosecution agreement is an agreement between a prosecutor and a criminal defendant, in which the defendant agrees to certain conditions. In exchange, the government will not bring criminal charges against the defendant for a set period of time (usually around 1 year). If all the terms of the agreement are met, the charges will usually be dropped when the agreement expires.
They are often used in corporate crime cases, where a company, rather than a person, is charged with a crime.
The agreements usually require the company to admit to all of the conduct charged by the government, to cooperate fully with all investigations to the satisfaction of the government, to disclose all information that the government requests, and not to engage in any illegal conduct.
These agreements are often overseen by the prosecution itself. The sole standard for whether or not the agreement has been met is the satisfaction of the prosecutor. They are also overseen by the Securities and Exchange Commission, but the prosecutor retains a great deal of discretion.
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Last Modified: 05-26-2009 01:15 PM PDT
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