If you have been accused of a crime, you might believe that your life, or at least your life as you know it, is basically finished. It may be quite challenging to get employment, gain a professional license, and lead a prosperous life in the future if you have a criminal record. Fortunately, there are solutions available to those accused of certain offenses, especially if they retain the services of an accomplished criminal defense attorney in California.
The potential outcome of your criminal case
When you are accused of a crime, there are various possible consequences. If your lawyer can convince the prosecution that the facts of your case do not support the charges, it may result in the charges being dropped or reduced. A plea agreement or being found guilty of the offense at trial are also options.
When someone is found guilty of a crime or accepts a plea agreement, they are usually sentenced to some type of penalty, which may include a variety of sanctions including probation, community service, restitution, jail time, and fines.
Understanding deferred judgments
For some offenders, there is an additional choice that might help you keep your criminal record clean. Deferred judgment, also known as deferred adjudication, is a sort of plea bargain in which you can admit guilt while agreeing to undergo therapy or treatment as opposed to imprisonment or other forms of punishment.
Among other choices, treatment and counseling programs may involve anger management, alcohol or drug rehabilitation. The charges will be dropped after a term of probation, and you won’t have a conviction on your record. You will still have an arrest on your criminal record, but depending on the offense involved, a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney in California could be able to seal your record so that it does not show up on background checks.
Not all cases or people are eligible for a deferred judgment
Generally speaking, if you have been accused of a misdemeanor offense or some lesser violation, you are not eligible for deferred judgment. Offenses including drug possession, small theft, shoplifting, or simple assault may fall under this category.
Importantly, you will suffer considerably more severe repercussions if you break the terms of the probation while you are on deferred judgment. Examples of such violations include not finishing treatment, abusing drugs or alcohol, or committing another theft. You will be punished for the initial offense to which you pleaded guilty, and you’ll probably get a harsher punishment than you would have otherwise.
The benefits of a deferred judgment
A delayed decision has numerous clear benefits. It will be much simpler for you to acquire a job in the future since you won’t have to tick the box declaring that you have a criminal past because you won’t really be found guilty of a crime. You will be permitted to maintain your driver’s license, and you won’t need to be concerned about the immigration repercussions of being deported or any other unintended side effects of a criminal conviction.
If you are a first-time offender and want to keep your record clean, deferred judgment can be a suitable choice. For the benefit of our clients, Chambers Law Firm can arrange these kinds of plea deals with competence and knowledge. To book a free first consultation and learn more about how we can assist you if you have been charged with a crime, contact our office right away at 714-760-4088 or email@example.com.