Non-Prosecution Agreements and Deferred Prosecution Agreements
White Collar Criminal Defense By Harvey Binnall PLLC - 2019/04/23 at 09:01pm
Experienced White Collar Defense Attorney in Alexandria, VA
If you’re being investigated for having engaged in white collar criminal activity, then you may be feeling somewhat overwhelmed by the prospect of criminal litigation — certainly, the threat of punishment is more “real” than ever, with the Department of Justice actively prosecuting white collar cases in an effort to make up for their perceived weakness in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.
Still, despite the aggressive tendencies of government prosecutors in today’s tense legal landscape, there are many ways in which white collar criminal defendants can minimize or avoid punishment, including the use of deferred and non-prosecution agreements (DPAs and NPAs).
DPAs and NPAs are Powerful Tools for Avoiding Punishment
DPAs and NPAs are voluntary agreements in which the prosecutor grants the defendant amnesty in exchange for their cooperation. Essentially, a DPA or NPA allows the defendant to avoid criminal punishment, though the prosecutor may establish an extensive set of obligations that the defendant must satisfy in order to avoid punishment.
For example, if a company is involved in a white collar lawsuit concerning widespread fraud, then prosecutors may enter into a DPA with the company, but only if the company takes steps to remedy its fraudulent activities, establish internal protocol so as to avoid future fraud, and perhaps even pays fines.
What are the Differences Between DPAs and NPAs?
Deferred prosecution agreements are quite similar to non-prosecution agreements, though there are a few differences that are worth noting.
Most fundamentally, DPAs will lead to the prosecution filing criminal charges against the defendant. The defendant usually has to admit fault, as well, and there may be fines and restitution payments associated with such fault. Further, with a DPA, the prosecution will assign a “monitoring” official who will ensure that you are fully compliant with the obligations imposed by the DPA.
NPAs are less strict, generally speaking, and an NPA does not lead to any criminal charges whatsoever (or any admission of fault). NPAs also do not require a monitoring official. Given these looser requirements, an NPA is preferable for many defendants. They may find that the stricter compliance requirements (and the admission of wrongdoing) required of a DPA is simply too excessive from a cost perspective and could hurt their brand image.
Contact Harvey & Binnall, PLLC for Immediate Criminal Defense Assistance
Harvey & Binnall, PLLC is a boutique litigation firm with an extensive practice in white collar criminal defense. Over the years, we have advocated on behalf of a wide range of individuals and businesses, helping them to minimize or otherwise avoid criminal liability altogether, even in situations where the defendant may not have many strong legal arguments.
We are fundamentally practical and detail-oriented litigators who are always looking to secure a favorable result for our clients, whether that is through an aggressive trial defense, or through negotiations with the prosecution. This dynamic approach is a critical aspect of what makes our defense representation so effective.