A deferred prosecution agreement is an agreement between a prosecutor and a criminal defendant. In exchange for the government not bringing criminal charges against the defendant, the defendant will have to agree to follow certain conditions for a set period of time. Such agreements are usually in effect for around one year. If all the terms of the agreement are met, the government will usually drop the charges against the defendant once the agreement expires.
When Are Deferred Prosecution Agreements Offered?
Deferred prosecution agreements are often used in corporate crime cases, where a company, rather than a person, is charged with a crime.
The agreement usually requires 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 prosecutor directly decides whether or not the defendant has performed adequately to satisfy the agreement. Deferred prosecution agreements are also overseen by the Securities and Exchange Commission, but the prosecutor usually retains a great deal of discretion on how to act.
Do I Need an Attorney?
If you have been accused of a crime you should speak with a lawyer immediately. An experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to advise you of your rights, help you with a defense, and advise you as to what options may be available to you. A lawyer will also be able to help you analyze whether or not a deferred prosecution agreement would be in your best interest.