If you are someone who has been convicted of a crime for the first time, then you might get an experience of being offered a deferred sentence against a guilty plea or one of no contest.
Now, if you are a layman who has heard this term for the first time, then you may be curious to know more about it or at least something about it.
Don’t worry; you can clear all your queries and satiate your curiosity to learn more under this guide.
What Is A Deferred Sentence?
Ideally, a court trial takes place when you are being charged with a crime. Here the evidence is presented, and then the decision is followed, which might lead to a guilty verdict. A sentence may result in some type of punishment if you are found guilty.
Besides punishing and rehabilitating the offended, the ruling also offers restitution to the victims. The legal system aims to protect the public and ultimately minimize crime. For a specific time, the majority of sentences earned by a defendant are known as determinate sentences.
Some of the others tend to range of years and are open-ended ones, which are known as termed indeterminate. Sentences may be consecutive or concurrent for those that have been convicted of several crimes.
Terms Of A Deferred Sentence
- The deferred sentence is all about postponing or delaying the punishment under a criminal case.
- The court offers you an opportunity to complete probation lasting at least two years.
- A judge can dismiss the charges if all the conditions are met during the time frame.
- After all terms of probation are met, a deferred sentence gives tends to offer you an opportunity to have a conviction dismissed.
- To be eligible for a deferred sentence, you can either plead guilty or no contest.
- This is a part of a plea deal and is provided to the first time offender or someone who has committed a minor crime. It is essential to consult with an attorney in any case.
Conditions For A Deferred Sentence
- I am not committing new crimes.
- Passing regular drug and alcohol screenings
- Paying court costs and fines
- Performing community service
Until all terms have been met, a record will still be available, which might have an impact on a job search. If you have a deferred sentence, then you can easily dismiss the case later.
In many states, including Colorado, Iowa, Oklahoma, and Rhode Island, it is generally called a deferred sentence, but in a few states, including Texas, it is known as deferred adjudication.
In being placed on a probationary period, the essential point is that pleading guilty or no contest under the branch of a plea deal in a criminal case. At the end of the term, it is essential to meet all the terms of this probation will allow the chance to be dismissed.
Things To Know About Deferred Judgment
1 You can say that a deferred judgment is similar to a deferred sentence.
2 An agreement made with the district attorney’s office is a Deferred Judgment.
3 Ideally, it is an agreement where you tend to plead guilty to a criminal charge having a sentence being deferred for a specific time frame.
4 The district attorney will file a motion in court to permit you to withdraw the guilty plea after a particular period provided all the terms of the agreement have been met, and the charge will be dismissed by that time.
5 The case is considered to be unresolved and in suspension, having deferred judgment in effect.
6 No doubt, a guilty plea has been entered while the decision and sentence are deferred.
7 You can say that the case is considered to be “frozen” between the plea of guilty and any sentencing when it comes to getting a deferred judgment.
Can A Felon Get A Deferred Sentence?
Ideally, a misdemeanor, a deferred sentence is reserved for first-time offenders and those convicted of a lesser crime. Thus a felon is generally not eligible to receive a deferred sentence. Hence it is not a bleak as it may sound.
The felons convicted within the past ten years or someone who received a deferred sentence within the last ten years don’t come under the eligibility of deferred sentence. Still, the possibility for a deferred sentence exists.
Is A Deferred Sentence Considered A Conviction?
The answer to this question is based on the outcome of the deferral period. You don’t have any criminal record if you meet all the terms. Additionally, it enables to true on a job application as there is no conviction available.
There will however be:
1 Criminal charges
2 Court proceedings
3 A public record of the arrest.
A partial expungement may be available under such a situation it means that charges will be eradicated from the criminal record.
You can get a full expungement after 10 years following a deferred sentence. A complete expunged record can take place after one year under the case of a misdemeanor. On the flip side, the case will be dismissed, and the judge might throw out the sentence and the guilty plea under the case of a deferred sentence.
To keep those out of the public record, you need to file a request to seal the criminal arrest record. Irrespective of the outcome, a felon should honor the ruling. This may or may not be in his favor however he will need to move on.
Will A Deferred Sentence Show Up On A Background Check?
You must be thinking about what will come up on the background check if you have received a deferred sentence. A conviction might show up on a check of your background during the duration of probation. You need to know that a deferred sentence requires a conviction, and it might be seen in on a background check during the probation period.
A deferred sentence will no longer show up after the duration of probation has been completed successfully. All we say that everything will be revealed in a background check, including original arrest and a felony charge, as it will a part of the record.
When you apply for a job, that will highlight convictions and non-convictions, including those prosecuted or dismissed if the employer conducts a background check. The background check will not show that conviction if the probationary time has passed and all conditions of that probation have been met.
What Will Happen If You Violate The Terms Of A Deferred Sentence?
You are likely to honor those terms if you choose to accept a deferred sentence along with the terms which are setup. Now the question is, what will happen if you don’t meet all of those terms?
Ideally, the judge will assign a period of incarceration. This time frame of imprisonment will be up to the judge to decide. The term of imprisonment might vary as per the discretion of the judge.
Depending on the judge’s view of that violation, it will depend on how serious the probation violation. As compared to merely serving a prison term, a deferred sentence is a more favorable outcome. You shouldn’t get demotivated if you have received a deferred sentence. With the support of your loved ones, you can get through this.