16 May 23

Deferred Prosecution: What it Is and How it Can Help You If You?ve Been Charged With a Crime in Mecklenburg County

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Last Updated on: 3rd June 2023, 09:22 pm

Escape the Nightmare of Harsh Punishments: Explore Deferred Prosecution in North Carolina

Imagine being haunted by an irreversible criminal record for years, hindering your job, housing, and educational opportunities simply because you’ve made a mistake. Fortunately, there is a shimmer of hope for individuals accused of misdemeanor or felony offenses in North Carolina, and that is the world of deferred prosecution.

Unraveling the Mystery: What is Deferred Prosecution?

Simply put, deferred prosecution is a legally-binding agreement between the prosecutor and defendant in which the accused individual agrees to fulfill specific conditions, such as probation, restitution, or community service. If they successfully meet all these expectations and do not commit other crimes during this stage, their charges will be dismissed completely. It is crucial to note that by entering into such an agreement, defendants forfeit their right to a jury trial, and often admit guilt.

Deferred prosecutions come in two flavors:

1. Formal Deferred Prosecution

In this scenario, both the prosecutor and defendant sign a written agreement which typically entails supervised probation, community service, and restitution payments made directly to victims. This type of deferred prosecution is more serious in nature.

2. Informal Deferred Prosecution

This option is reserved for low-level misdemeanors, and no written agreement or admission of guilt is necessary. It is a casual verbal agreement between the defendant and prosecutor, without any court hearing.

Keys to the Kingdom: Eligibility Requirements for Deferred Prosecution

While deferred prosecution may seem like the perfect escape from your current predicament, it is crucial to understand that the state of North Carolina has set specific eligibility requirements under G.S 15A-1341(a1) that must be met:

Eligibility Requirements
Charges filed must be for low-level felony or misdemeanor offenses.
No prior convictions or probations.
Victim consented & notified about the agreement.
Unlikely chance of reoffending again.

In places like Mecklenburg County (Charlotte), prosecutors have taken an unconventional approach by allowing low-income defendants under this policy to make restitution over two years, rather than requiring immediate installment during the deferred prosecution program.

Unveiling the Truth: The Pros and Cons

On the surface, deferred prosecution radiates irresistible benefits, such as the dismissal of allegations, the absence of a criminal record, and reduced fines. However, lurking in the shadows are some potential drawbacks. For instance, entering into a formal deferred prosecution agreement means sacrificing your right to a jury trial and admitting guilt.

Moreover, if you violate the terms of the agreement or fail to meet the conditions imposed by prosecutors, they could abruptly terminate their end of the deal, resulting in a swift conviction without further notice. Keep in mind that admitting guilt effectively strips you of any defenses against the charges.

Erasing the Past: Expungement After Deferred Prosecution

Upon successfully completing all terms under your deferred prosecution agreement, your criminal charges will not vanish instantly from your record. Nevertheless, if eligible for expungement, you have the opportunity to wipe your record clean, leading to the destruction of all associated records by law enforcement agencies.

Unlocking Your Freedom: How a Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help

Regardless of whether the criminal charge is minor or severe, seeking the expertise of a skilled criminal defense attorney is an absolute necessity! Not only can they assess your accusations and devise powerful defense strategies, but they can also pave the way for dismissals or charge reduction options like informal deferred prosecutions, depending on your unique circumstances.

Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Charlotte, NC Today!

Don’t allow criminal charges to dictate your life. Get the professional legal backup you need by scheduling a free consultation today! Call our Charlotte office at +1 (980)-207-3355 or contact us online for more information about how we can help defend against these allegations.

Related Links:

What To Expect In Your Criminal Case
Invoking Your Right To Remain Silent In North Carolina
Crucial Steps To Take If You Are Arrested In North Carolina

Deferred Prosecution: What it Is and How it Can Help You If You?ve Been Charged With a Crime in Mecklenburg County

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