Understanding a Deferred Prosecution Agreement

Understanding a Deferred Prosecution Agreement

A deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) is an agreement between a prosecutor and a  defendant that suspends prosecution so long as certain specified conditions are met. The requirements could include paying fines, implementing corporate reforms, and fully cooperating with the investigation. Once the requirements of the DPA are met, then indictment will be avoided or criminal charges will be dropped.

Deferred Prosecution Agreements & Corporate Prosecution

The United States Attorney’s Manual (USAM) includes a section on Principles of Federal Prosecution Of Business Organizations that addresses corporate prosecution. It sets forth guidelines concerning the prosecution of alleged corporate malfeasance and specifically allows for DPA’s.

The section on General Considerations of Corporate Liability states: “In certain instances, it may be appropriate to resolve a corporate criminal case by means other than indictment. Non-prosecution and deferred prosecution agreements, for example, occupy an important middle ground between declining prosecution and obtaining the conviction of a corporation.” USAM §9-28.200.

Benefits of Deferred Prosecution Agreements

A DPA can be beneficial for the corporation, the government, and society. In fact, the benefits of a DPA are numerous:

  • A DPA is not necessarily an admission of guilt.
  • A previous DPA will not be part of a defendant’s criminal history.
  • A DPA can “help restore the integrity of a company’s operations and preserve the financial viability of a corporation that has engaged in criminal conduct, while preserving the government’s ability to prosecute a recalcitrant corporation that materially breaches the agreement.” USAM §9-28.1100.
  • The government may have a greater interest in recovering money than in criminally prosecuting individuals.
  • Employees of the corporation may remain largely unaffected.

Entering into a DPA can prevent the government from pursuing fraud or other white collar criminal charges against you. Negotiating the terms of a DPA is best done with a white collar criminal defense attorney by your side.

Hire A Former Prosecutor to Defend You

Ashley D. Adams is a former fraud prosecutor with the United States Attorney’s Office. She understands how prosecutors operate, and the best tactics to negotiate favorable DPA terms, or to get criminal charges dropped or dropped to lesser charges. Given her prior work, she also has a longstanding and positive relationship with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Attorney General’s Office, and the Department of Justice. Put Ashley D. Adam’s experience to work for you.

Contact us or call now (480) 219-1366 for a case evaluation. Have your questions answered and obtain the peace of mind that comes from having a former Assistant U.S. Attorney on your side.


The attorneys at Ashley D. Adams, PLC handle state criminal cases throughout Arizona including the cities of Phoenix, Scottsdale, Glendale, Mesa, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Maricopa, Gilbert, Peoria, Surprise, Goodyear, Litchfield Park, Avondale, Chandler, Casa Grande, Florence, Queen Creek, Deer Valley, North Pinal and Sun City as well as those living in and around Maricopa County, Pinal County, Pima County, Yuma County and Yavapai County.

The attorneys at Ashley D. Adams, PLC handle federal criminal cases throughout the United States, including Arizona, Oklahoma, Utah, and California.