Deferred Sentencing (C.S.R. 18-1.3-102), better known as a Deferred Judgment, DJ or DJ&S, is an unusual sentencing option for criminal cases in Denver, Jefferson, Arapahoe or Douglas County. As our experienced criminal defense attorneys begin to understand a case by talking with the client, reading police reports, talking with witnesses, and doing other investigation – sometimes they need to look at other options rather than going to trial. These options might involve plea bargaining with the District Attorney. In each case, however, the final decision on how to plead is made by the client after he or she is fully advised by their lawyer about the risks and benefits of each option.
So what is a Deferred Judgment and Sentencing in Adams, Weld and Larimer County? A DJ&S, or DJ, happens when a defendant pleads guilty to a crime like Shoplifting, C.R.S. 18-8-401, but the court suspends (or defers) entering judgment and sentence for a specific period of time. The maximum time allowed is four years for a felony, and two years for any lesser class of crime. Within that timeframe the defendant is considered guilty. The judge may impose various conditions upon the defendant during this time, which are similar to probation terms. Conditions may include: no additional criminal violations, payment of restitution, fines, probation (supervised or unsupervised), mental health treatment, and/or community service. At the end of a successful deferred time period, the guilty plea is withdrawn and the case is dismissed. In most instances, the record can then be sealed.
The downside to a Deferred Judgment is when the defendant does not adhere to the terms of her agreement in Boulder or Grand County. Since a guilty plea is already entered, there will be no trial upon a violation. After a brief hearing where the standard of proof is much lower than in a trial, the judge can impose an immediate sentence in the original Shoplifting case.
In Jefferson, Douglas, or Broomfield County, whether we are working a petty offense, misdemeanor, or felony, a Deferred Sentence is a good alternative to incarceration. Our experienced Lawyers know how to evaluate the circumstances of every case and negotiate Deferred Sentences all over Colorado.
In order to preserve every option, we strongly recommend to all of our clients not to make statements to the police or any person from any government agency. By doing so, you reduce the likelihood of a good outcome, like a Deferred Judgment.
So if someone you care about has been charged with a crime in Aurora, Denver, or Littleton, “be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and call us at 303-731-0719. Together we can protect your future.