Depending on the offense and offender, certain cases can be dismissed upon the completion of specific conditions. The programs go under many different names, but the end results are the same: upon the completion of the specified conditions, the court will dismiss the charges. These programs can help people charged with crimes avoid jail time in exchange for community service, a much better result for some folks. The goal of these programs is to rehabilitate and help people become more responsible for themselves and their actions. There are two types of programs one can participate in: deferred adjudication and pretrial division. Which program you decide to use will be dependent on whether you first plead guilty in your criminal defense case.
Should the defendant plead guilty to his or her charges, dependent on the offense, the defendant may be able to participate in a deferred adjudication program. Deferred adjudication, also known as stay of adjudication, is like probate in that the defendant pleads guilty or nolo contendere. However, proceeds are like that of pretrial division. Also, even though the defendant pleads guilty, the court will not enter a guilty judgment. Instead, the court will list out several conditions the defendant must meet. Should the conditions be met, the court will drop the charges on the defendant. The defendant will further have no record of conviction. Should the defendant not meet the set conditions, however, the court will make a judgment and sentence.
The biggest difference between deferred adjudication and pretrial division is whether the defendant pleads guilty or not. In pretrial division, the defendant does not plead guilty. Instead, prior to a guilty or nolo contendere judgment, at the discretion of the prosecutor, the defendant’s case can be halted until they meet the prosecutor’s set conditions. Should the defendant agree to a pretrial division, they may be required to waive their right to a speedy trial and protections under relevant statutes of limitations. Should the defendant not meet the conditions set by the prosecutor, the defend can be put back on trial as if a pretrial division had never taken place.
Before you plead guilty or nolo contendere on a charge, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney today. The lawyers at the Law Office of Daniel Jensen, LLP. could help look over your case, counsel you on the next best step, and protect your rights in court.