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Deferred Prosecution Agreement

By: WISCONSIN LAW JOURNAL STAFF//May 20, 2024//

Deferred Prosecution Agreement

By: WISCONSIN LAW JOURNAL STAFF//May 20, 2024//

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WI Court of Appeals – District I

Case Name: State of Wisconsin v. Z. D. S.

Case No.: 2023AP001109

Officials: Donald, P.J.

Focus: Deferred Prosecution Agreement

The Court of Appeals affirmed the Circuit Court’s decision to dismiss a delinquency petition against Z.D.S. (referred to as Zach) and refer the matter for a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA). The State had charged 14-year-old Zach with three felonies: second-degree recklessly endangering safety, attempting to flee or elude an officer, and driving without the owner’s consent. The charges stemmed from an incident where Zach took his mother’s car, drove recklessly, and crashed while fleeing the police.

The Circuit Court found that a DPA was in the best interest of both Zach and the public, considering Zach’s young age, lack of prior offenses, positive predisposition supervision, family support, and recent involvement in mentoring and business activities. The court also noted Zach’s compliance with supervision and the impact of losing a friend to reckless driving.

The State argued that a DPA was insufficient for accountability and public safety, given the serious nature of the offense and public concerns about reckless driving. However, the Appeals Court held that the Circuit Court applied the correct legal standard and reasonably exercised its discretion by thoroughly considering the relevant factors and the State’s arguments.

The Appeals Court concluded that the facts of the case did not present an “extreme” or “distinctly out of the ordinary” scenario that would render the Circuit Court’s decision unreasonable. The court emphasized that disagreements with how the trial court weighed the facts are not grounds for reversal.

Affirmed.

Decided 05/14/24 

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