If you are a first-time offender, you are likely worried about how a conviction will impact your future. A criminal record can follow you for a long time, affecting both your personal and professional life for many years. Some crimes may even prevent you from getting your dream job.
Under certain circumstances, you may be eligible for deferred prosecution.
What is deferred prosecution?
Deferred prosecution is a written agreement between you and the prosecutor, wherein the prosecutor agrees to drop the charges against you if you can demonstrate good conduct. As a part of the agreement, you will need to meet certain requirements, which could include community service, probation and restitution. Additionally, you must not commit any other crimes as you work to complete the terms of the agreement.
Deferred prosecution requires that you admit guilt and forego a jury trial. If you meet the requirements of the agreement, the court will dismiss your charges, and you will not have the offense on your criminal record. If you fail to meet the requirements, the case will go forward with your admission of guilt.
Are you eligible for deferred prosecution?
You are only eligible for deferred prosecution if you meet the following criteria:
- You do not have a prior conviction for a felony or certain misdemeanors
- You committed a low-level felony or misdemeanor
- You are unlikely to commit another offense in the future
- The victims of your crime do not object
- A court approves the agreement
As a first-time offender, deferred prosecution can help you avoid the serious consequences of a conviction.