|American Judges Association
"The Voice of the Judiciary"
WASHINGTON COUNTY DEFERRED SENTENCING PROGRAM
County’s Domestic Violence Deferred Sentencing [DVDS] program allows eligible persons who have been charged
with domestic violence misdemeanors to avoid conviction by successfully
participating in the program. To
participate in the DVDS program, the person must enter a guilty plea at their
arraignment and submit to an evaluation for domestic violence treatment.
They must successfully complete whatever treatment is recommended
including, batterer’s specific treatment, anger control counseling, and
alcohol or substance abuse treatment. If
the person satisfactorily
completes treatment and complies with all terms of the DVDS Program, the
charges are permanently dismissed after one year.
Participation in the DVDS Program is a privilege and may be exercised
are eligible for the program if:
Prior to an arraignment, the district attorney reviews the police
reports and criminal history of the case to determine whether a defendant is
eligible for the DVDS Program. At
the arraignment hearing, the District Attorney advises the Court whether the
defendant qualities for the program.
At arraignment, the defendant is provided a copy of the police reports,
and given an immediate opportunity to consult with an attorney.
As the decision to enter the DVDS Program must be made at the time of
arraignment, eligible persons must either plead guilty to enter the program,
or decline the program in writing.
The DVDS Program is administered through the Washington County Community
Corrections. Defendant’s who
enter the program are required to report to the Probation Department
immediately, and must provide the Probation Officer [P.O.] with a copy of the
police report. The P.O. will
immediately inform the victim that the defendant is not allowed contact with
them until they have satisfactorily completed 12 treatment sessions in the
program. If requested by the
victim, the no contact provision may continue after 12 weeks.
If the defendant complies with all terms of the DVDS Program and all
Court orders during it’s pendency, the case will be dismissed after one
year. A violation of any term of
the DVDS Program may result in revocation from the program.
If revoked, the person would be sentenced on the subject charge.
In addition to all recommended treatment, requirements of the DVDS
program include: no contact with
the victim, urinalysis testing, paying all financial obligations, and
complying with all terms of the Deferred Sentencing Agreement to the
satisfaction of the Court.
To enter the Program a Defendant must sign a DVDS Agreement.
It includes a plea petition to the offense, a waiver of the right to
promises to comply with all of the requirements of the program.
Instructions as to the immediate responsibility of the party are give
A defendant must advise the Court, the Probation Office, and all
treatment providers of their current address and telephone number and
must immediately notify the above of any changes.
Upon leaving the Courtroom, the defendant must IMMEDIATELY
report to the Probation Department.
Agreements with the Probation officer regarding a contact schedule,
selection of a treatment provider, and orientation are required at this intake
The Court is kept informed of the parties progress in the program by the
Probation Office. The Probation Officer has the authority to make contact with
family, friends, employers, treatment providers, and significant others, to
monitor the compliance of the party in the program. A report is submitted to the court for consideration on what
action is warranted. Depending on
the severity of the violation, a show cause hearing or warrant will be ordered
by the court.
If the defendant elects not to participate to the DVDS Program, they
must sign a form declining the program at their arraignment.
There is no second opportunity to participate in the program.
If a defendant declines the program and enters a plea of Not Guilty, the
case will be scheduled for trial at arraignment. If defendant is in custody, the trial will be set in
approximately 21day and, if out of custody, trial will be set in approximately
35 days. Domestic violence cases
are set for trial on a fast track schedule and the dates given for trial are
considered as dates certain. (No resets) No Pretrial Conference is set for these
For more information contact:
American Judges Association
Officers & Governors | AJA By-Laws | Membership | Standing Committees | Resolutions | Association Services
Publications | Education & Seminars | Law Essay Contest | E-Mail | Members Only | Home