The obvious benefit for the Defendant who is offered Deferred Prosecution is the opportunity to avoid any convictions and/or jail time. The risk to entering into a Deferred Prosecution is that a formal agreement signed by the Defendant usually waives the right to a trial and admits guilt. Upon breach of the agreement by the Defendant he or she is subject to a quick conviction on all charges and has essentially waived all defenses.
What is a formal deferred prosecution?
Formal deferred prosecution generally involves a written agreement signed by the DA and the Defendant entered in open Court in front of a Judge. Formal Deferred prosecution usually requires supervised probation along with community service and or financial restitution to any victims.
What is an informal deferred prosecution?
Informal deferred prosecution is usually reserved for low level misdemeanors and may not require a written agreement or confession in open Court.
What is Deferred Prosecution Lite?
Deferred Prosecution Lite is a program in Mecklenburg County NC for low level crimes like misdemeanor larceny or possession of marijuana or alcohol whereby upon completion of either a Cognitive Behavior Intervention (“CBI”) class or drug awareness class charges are dropped.
What is the 90-96 program?
The 90-96 program involves the conditional discharge of certain drug charges. This program is used in lieu of deferred prosecution in Union County, NC.
What if I am not offered Deferred Prosecution?
The program is at the discretion of the DA and nobody is entitled to this program option as a matter of right.
Do I need an attorney to get Deferred Prosecution?
An attorney is not technically required, but it some cases a deferred prosecution offer may only be an option after meeting the elected District Attorney. For pro-se defendants this is usually not an option. Besides it is always advisable to have an attorney in criminal Court. If you cannot afford an attorney you may be eligible for a court appointed attorney.
Is there any advantage to having an attorney?
Perhaps an attorney can explain to the District Attorney that you have no guilt whatsoever and therefore the case should be dismissed, without the formal deferred prosecution process. Another possibility is an informal deferred prosecution as opposed to formal deferred prosecution.
Should I sign a formal deferred prosecution agreement?
The risk to signing a formal deferred prosecution agreement is that it’s essentially a confession that will be used to convict you if you fail to abide by the terms of the agreement.
If I plan to abide by the terms of the agreement what is the risk?
The risk is these days it’s easy to be charged with a crime for which you have no culpability. If you are in the car with friends and an officer finds marijuana and nobody confesses often the entire car is charged.
Can I expunge a charge after Deferred Prosecution?
If the charges were dismissed then you should be eligible for expunction if you have never had an expunction before. Be aware there is now a $175 fee to expunge charges dismissed as a result of Deferred Prosecution.