|Councilmember Harry L. Thomas, Sr.
A BILL IN
THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
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
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
(a) By amending the table of contents for Chapter 7 by adding at the end thereof the
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
(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 courts 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
(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.