A deferred judgment and sentence is a special kind of plea deal that your attorney negotiates with the district attorney to get the pending criminal charges against you dismissed. In order to get your case dropped you would have to plead guilty to your current or reduced charges, and successfully complete all the conditions of your deferred judgment and sentence within a set time frame. Importantly, you will avoid a conviction if, but only if, you successfully complete your deferred judgment and sentence.
The length of a deferred judgment and sentence varies from case to case but usually will not exceed four years for felony offenses and two years for misdemeanors, petty offenses, or traffic violations.
Who qualifies for a deferred sentence in Colorado?
Whether or not you qualify in Colorado for a deferred judgment and sentence depends a lot on your prior criminal record, the nature of the crime, and the specific facts of your case. For example, a first-time offender that committed a minor, nonviolent offense is significantly more likely to receive a deferred judgment and sentence than a third-time offender facing domestic violence charges.
If you are facing criminal charges in Colorado with the hopes of securing a deferred sentence, you should call Martin Conti Law today to consult with attorneys with years of experience in getting their clients deferred sentences.
What are the terms of a deferred judgment and sentence?
The judge decides the specific conditions of a deferred sentence. These conditions may include:
- Random drug testing
- Anger management classes
- Drug or alcohol education classes
- Limited travel privileges
- Job or school attendance
- Community service
- Writing letters of apology
- Paying restitution to victims (sentence can be extended for up to 182 days if unable to pay)
- Sticking to the terms of a protection order
- Reporting to a probation officer
If you are ever convicted of any domestic violence crime, then the law will not allow you to own, possess, or use firearms or ammunition. However, under Colorado law you will avoid a conviction, even for a domestic violence crime if, but only if, you successfully complete your deferred judgment and sentence because the court will then withdraw your guilty plea and dismiss the case.
But, if you receive a deferred judgment and sentence for any domestic violence crime, the law will treat you as being convicted during the term of the deferred judgment and sentence and you will not be allowed to own, possess, or use firearms or ammunition until you successfully complete the deferred judgment and sentence and the case is dismissed.
What happens if I violate the terms of my Colorado deferred judgment and sentence?
If you violate the terms of your deferred judgment and sentence, then the court can revoke your deferred judgment and sentence. If the court revokes your deferred judgment and sentence, then a conviction will enter against you and the court could impose the penalties for the crime to which you pleaded guilty, which could mean you would go to jail or prison and pay hundreds or thousands of dollars in fines. And, if the crime for which you received the now-revoked deferred sentence was a domestic violence crime, the law will ban you from ever owning, possessing, or using firearms or ammunition, even if just for target practice or hunting.
What happens if I successfully complete the terms of my Colorado deferred judgment and sentence?
If you successfully complete the terms of your deferred judgment and sentence, then the court will withdraw your guilty plea and dismiss the case against you, which would make your arrest record eligible to be sealed from background checks in most cases. However, Colorado law does not allow the sealing of records pertaining to a successfully completed deferred judgment and sentence for a felony sex offense, certain minor traffic offenses, or for the holder of a commercial driver’s license.
How do I get a deferred sentence?
At Martin Conti Law, we make everything about you. We learn about you, your hobbies, interests, career aspirations, background, and family. We firmly believe that a momentary lapse in judgement which leads to criminal charges does not define you. We do everything we can to tell your personal story to the District Attorney to let them know about the great things you have going on in your life and why you deserve a deferred sentence and judgment.