Some criminal defendants in Colorado are offered a deferred sentence, which is basically an opportunity to get their case dismissed and avoid serious penalties. Unfortunately, only certain criminal defendants are eligible for this arrangement. Who qualifies for deferred sentencing? Here’s what you should know:
What is Deferred Sentencing?
Defendants who are offered deferred sentencing agree to plead guilty and complete a period of probation in order to avoid more serious criminal penalties. Probation can last anywhere from six months to four years. But, it’s important to note that four years is the maximum time period for felony offenses, whereas the maximum time period for misdemeanor offenses is only two years.
During this time, the defendant must comply with a number of specific court-ordered terms. For example, if the defendant is facing drug charges, the court may order him to attend drug education courses as part of his probation. The court could also order the defendant in this case to submit to random drug testing until the probationary period is over.
Complying with all of the court ordered terms is important. If you make it through probation without violating any of the terms, your guilty plea will be withdrawn and the criminal charges will be dismissed. You can also ask the court to seal your record so this incident does not appear on future background checks. However, if you violate one of the terms of probation, you will face criminal penalties for the crime you were convicted of committing.
Who Qualifies for Deferred Sentencing?
The law states that the court can offer a deferred sentence to any defendant who has entered a guilty plea as long as the defendant, the defense attorney, and the prosecutor all give their written consent. However, this does not mean that deferred sentences are actually offered to every defendant who enters a guilty plea. The court typically offers this type of sentence to defendants who have committed minor crimes and who have not been convicted of any crimes in the past. It is very rare for a judge to offer a deferred sentence to someone with a prior criminal record.
If you are facing criminal charges, contact Reisch Law Firm as soon as possible. Our criminal defense attorneys will evaluate all legal options and fight for a deferred sentence if it is in your best interests. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.