The Pretrial Services Agency for the District of Columbia (PSA) participates in various types of diversion options that provide defendants with opportunities to have their charges dismissed if the program requirements are fulfilled. PSA performs initial screening of a defendant’s edibility for placement in a particular diversion program, but final approval is determined by the U.S. Attorney’s Office or D.C. Office of the Attorney General.
There are two types of agreements that enable diversion – A deferred prosecution agreement and a deferred sentencing agreement.
Deferred Prosecution Agreement—A voluntary agreement between the prosecutor and the defendant whereby the government offers to dismiss charges upon the defendant’s satisfactory fulfillment of certain requirements (e.g., performing a certain number of community service hours).
Deferred Sentencing Agreement—A voluntary agreement between the prosecutor and the defendant whereby the defendant enters a guilty plea and sentencing is set for a later date. The defendant must complete certain requirements set out in the agreement (e.g., performing a certain number of community service hours). If the defendant is successful in completing all requirements, the guilty plea is withdrawn and the prosecution dismisses the case; otherwise, the matter proceeds to sentencing.
PSA’s initial eligibility screening may include drug testing, review of criminal history, confirmation of linkage to mental health services (as applicable).