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Probation Before Judgement [sic] of Guilt For First Time Offenders Amendment Act of 1998
Bill 12-664

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Councilmember Harry L. Thomas, Sr.


Councilmember Thomas introduced the following bill, which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

To amend section 16-701 of the District of Columbia Code to authorize the Superior Court of the District of Columbia the discretion to grant probation before judgement [sic] of guilt as a sentencing alternative to the incarceration of first-time non-violent offenders.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, That this act may be cited as, the "Probation Before Judgement [sic] of Guilt For First Time Offenders Amendment Act of 1998".

Sec. 2. Section 16-701 of the District of Columbia Code is amended as follows:

(a) By amending the table of contents for Chapter 7 by adding at the end thereof the phrase:

“16-714. Probation for first time offenders., and

(b) By adding a new section 16-714 to read as follows:

“16-714. Probation for first time offenders.

“(a) A person who has not previously been convicted of an offense and who pleads guilty or no contest to a non-violent offense, the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, if satisfied that it is in the best interests of the person and of the District of Columbia, may, upon the written request of the person and without entering a judgment of guilty, defer further proceedings and place the person on probation subject to reasonable terms and conditions set by the court.

“(b) By consenting to probation before judgment of guilt, the person waives the right to appeal from judgment of guilt to a court regarding the matter. The court shall inform the person of this waiver before permitting the person to consent to probation before judgement [sic] of guilt.

“(c) The terms and conditions of consenting to probation before judgment of guilt may include the following:

(1) Paying a fine or restitution of actual costs any victims may have suffered;

(2) Participating in an appropriate rehabilitation clinic or educational program; or;

(3) Performing community service.

“(d) Fines imposed as probation terms and conditions shall be within the amount prescribed by law for a violation resulting in conviction.

“(e) If the court places the person on probation for driving under the influence, the court shall, as a condition of the probation, require the person to participate in a driver safety and awareness program and either an alcohol treatment program, or an alcohol-related educational program unless the court finds and affirmatively states on the record that the interests of the District of Columbia and of the person do not require the person to participate in an alcohol treatment or alcohol-related educational program.

“(f) If the person violates any term or condition of the probation, the court may, enter a judgement [sic] of guilt and proceed as if the person had not been placed on probation.

“(g) If during the probation period the person does not violate any of the terms and conditions of probation, upon expiration of the probation period, the court shall discharge the person from probation and dismiss the proceedings against the person. Discharge and dismissal shall be without adjudication of guilt, but a non-public record of the probation before judgement of guilt proceedings shall be retained solely for the purpose of the court’s use to determine whether, in subsequent proceedings, the person qualifies for probation before judgement [sic] pursuant to this section. Then, discharge and dismissal shall not be deemed a conviction for purposes of disqualifications or disabilities imposed by law upon conviction of a crime. The effect of discharge and dismissal shall be to restore the person in contemplation of the law to the status the person occupied prior to arrest and all subsequent proceedings pursuant to this section.

“(h) Upon discharge and dismissal, the person may apply to the Court for an order to expunge all official records of the proceedings pursuant to this section, (not including the non- public record to be retained under section (g)), all records relating to the arrest, indictment or information, and dismissal and discharge pursuant to this subsection. If the Court determines, after a hearing, that the person was dismissed and proceedings against him or her discharged, it shall enter an order dismissing the person. No person for whom an order of dismissal has been entered shall be held under any provision of any law to be guilty of perjury or otherwise giving a false statement by reason of failure to recite or acknowledge a prior arrest in subsequent proceedings in response to any inquiry made of him or her for any purposes.".

Sec. 3. This act shall take effect following approval by the Mayor (or in the event of veto by the Mayor, action by the Council to override the veto), approval by the Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Authority as provided in section 203(a) of the District of Columbia Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance authority Act of 1995, approved April 17, 1995 (109 Stat. 116; D.C. Code §47392.3(a)), a 30-day period of Congressional review as provided in section 602(c)(1) of the District of Columbia Home Rule Act, approved December 24, 1973 (87 Stat. 813; D.C. Code §1-233(c)(1), and publication in the District of Columbia Register.

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