Understanding a Non-Prosecution Agreement

Understanding a Non-Prosecution Agreement

A non-prosecution agreement (NPA) is an agreement between a prosecutor and a corporation to avoid prosecution so long as certain conditions are met. The corporation agrees to cooperate with the government and take remedial actions to correct its alleged wrongdoing. Though, typically the NPA does not require an admission of wrongdoing from the corporation.

A NPA is similar to a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) in that they are both alternative agreements to avoid prosecution. An NPA prevents charges from being filed so long as the conditions are met. Most often when the conditions of a DPA are met charges that have already been filed will be dropped. DPA’s tend to be more detailed than NPA’s and typically require more ongoing monitoring.

Non-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 NPA’s.

Resolving a corporate criminal case through the use of a NPA may “occupy an important middle ground between declining prosecution and obtaining the conviction of a corporation.” USAM §9-28.200. When determining the proper treatment of a corporate target the USAM instructs prosecutors to consider a number of factors, including:

  • The corporation’s willingness to cooperate in the investigation of its agents.
  • The corporation’s remedial actions, including any efforts to implement an effective corporate compliance program or to improve an existing one, to replace responsible management, to discipline or terminate wrongdoers, to pay restitution, and to cooperate with the relevant government agencies.
  • Collateral consequences, including whether there is disproportionate harm to shareholders, pension holders, employees, and others not proven personally culpable, as well as impact on the public arising from the prosecution. USAM §9-28.300.

Benefits of Non-Prosecution Agreements

A NPA can be beneficial for the corporation, the government, and society. In some cases, an alternative to corporate criminal prosecution serves to minimize unintended consequences and collateral damage, such as the collapse of the corporation and the related impact on employees, investors, and other stakeholders.

Under appropriate circumstances, a NPA 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.

Entering into a NPA can prevent the government from pursuing fraud or other white collar criminal charges against you. Negotiating the terms of a NPA 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, the best tactics to negotiate favorable NPA terms, and how 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 consultation. 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.