I was charged with domestic violence in 2014 and got it dismissed with a deferred prosecution agreement. In march of 2017, I got charged with domestic abuse again. When the prosecutors look at my criminal record, can they use my old deferred prosecution agreement when sentencing? Will it count as a first offense since I wasn't convicted the first time or will it be a second offense?
At sentencing, the court may consider a wide variety of information. The only constitutional requirement is that the information be accurate. Believe it or not, at sentencing the judge may even consider a charge that resulted in an acquittal at trial. Therefore, the court may consider a charge that resulted in a deferred prosecution. Most DP agreements require a guilty plea, and, therefore, this is something that the judge is very likely to consider.
This answer is for informational purposes only. By answering this question, no attorney/client relationship is created. Although the legal information is accurate, it may not be appropriate for your situation. The best way to handle any legal problem is to seek the advice of an attorney.
Yes, the judge can consider the prior charge that resulted in deferred prosecution. Its common.
Yes, both the prosecutor and the judge will look at and consider the DPA. If the first was truly dismissed as part of the DPA, your new case will be your first conviction. But obviously this isn't a first offense, since you entered a plea in the first case.
For purposes of charging, a case that was dismissed as part of a deferred prosecution agreement will not be counted as a prior offense. It can (and will be) used as a sentencing factor. You should be talking to your own attorney about this. If you don't have one, get one.
More importantly, you obviously have a problem that has not been adequately addressed. You need to learn new ways of dealing with disagreements and other conflicts in your relationships that do not involve violence. If you are in relationships where people are using physical violence against you, leave that relationship immediately. Physical violence in the context of a relationship is ALWAYS wrong. There are no exceptions. Counseling that you do individually is the key component to getting this problem addressed. The next is not expecting that family or couples counseling is only for fixing the other person. If the other person needs fixing, then you are in a relationship with the wrong person. Get out.
This communication is for the purposes of general advice only. This communication does not form any contractual obligation on behalf of Attorney Stephen W. Sawyer or the Law Offices of Stephen W. Sawyer.
Yes, it can be considered, by the prosecutor and the judge.
It may not enhance the range of punishment.
Prosecutors don't sentence; judges do.
It will not be a prior conviction.
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