What is Deferred Prosecution?
Beginning in June of 2017, the Tulsa County DA began offering Deferred Prosecutions. This is a contractual arrangement to not file charges on you even though you have been arrested. Simply put, if you will sign up for voluntary supervision, pay all of your fines and fees upfront, then they won’t even file charges against you. Sounds like a dream come true, right? Maybe not, keep reading.
Who is eligible?
This contractual arrangement is only available to people who have a clean record and no criminal history. As you have read above, all the fines and fees must be paid in advance, so this will seriously limit the people that can take advantage of this program.
How much will it cost?
The supervision fee will be $240. On top of that, you will have a fee of between $200 and $400 for each charge you were booked in on. So, as an example, if you were arrested on Possession of Marijuana, No Driver’s License, and No Insurance; you would be looking at a total of $1065.00 total up front before you can take advantage of this program.
What does the supervision look like?
Tulsa COURTS will supervise you, which is the same group that supervises people for Drug Court. It will be for a minimum of 6 months, but could be 2 years. You may have to do a Drug and Alcohol Assessment, Random Urinalysis Drug Testing, Restitution, Mental Health Evaluation, Community Service Hours, Stay Away Orders, GPS, or SCRAM Alcohol Monitoring. Oh yeah, that is all at your cost. Also, they can also come visit your home or place of employment.
What happens if I fail?
Even if you only have supervision for 6 months, if you run into trouble anytime within 2 years, you will not only have to deal with those charges, but the DA will file these old charges on you too. They can also file the charges on you for any form of non-compliance.
Seems like a decent deal, what is the catch?
Your biggest concern is that you are waiving several of your Constitutional Rights! First, you will have to sign an agreement that says that the State of Oklahoma has sufficient evidence to achieve a conviction. Next you are waiving your rights to speedy prosecution and a speedy trial. Also, you will be waiving the Statute of Limitations. Finally, you will be waiving your rights to counsel.
Is there anything else I should know?
Yes. You are also waiving your ability to challenge the lawfulness of your arrest. You are also waiving your ability to challenge the search of your vehicle, home or person.
What should I do?
You have a right not to be singled out. You have a right not to be harassed because of who you are or what neighborhood you come from. You also have a right to your privacy. Hire a qualified attorney that is not afraid to fight for your rights. If the DA was going to give you the Deferred Prosecution then they most likely will still offer you Deferred Probation, which is practically the same thing without waiving all of your rights.
Why is the DA offering this?
It is about the money. This method of handling cases will shift money from the Court Fund to the DA Fund. This isn’t about helping you, but instead a way of funding the DA’s Office.