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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. J. A. N.

Case No.: 2023AP001108

Officials: Donald, P.J.

Focus: Deferred Prosecution Agreement

The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the Circuit Court to dismiss a delinquency petition against J.A.N. (referred to as James) and refer the matter for a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA). The State had charged James with possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under eighteen, following an incident at a Walmart and a subsequent police pursuit. The trial court decided that a DPA was in James’ best interest and the public’s, considering his age, lack of prior offenses, good behavior on supervision, and strong family support.

The State argued that the trial court erroneously exercised its discretion and that a DPA would not sufficiently serve James’ needs or protect the community. However, the Appeals Court found that the trial court applied the correct legal standard, properly evaluated relevant factors, and reasonably concluded that a DPA was appropriate. The court noted that a conviction would not prevent James from possessing a firearm and emphasized that he was not the driver of the fleeing vehicle nor the person carrying the marijuana.

Additionally, the Appeals Court rejected the State’s claim that the statute provides little guidance for trial courts, clarifying that the statutory language allows for discretion in determining the best interests of the juvenile and the public. The court found no basis to overturn the trial court’s decision.

Affirmed.

Decided 05/14/24

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