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Photo Of Kyle B. Sawyer

Charged With A Crime? It Doesn’t Mean You’re Guilty.

Deferred Judgment, Plea Bargain or Straight Plea, Plea Bargain? – A Criminal Lawyer Explains

by | Apr 20, 2016 | Plea Bargain |

Deferred Judgment or Straight Plea in Denver? – A Criminal Law Attorney Gives You Straight Advice

In the course of representing thousands of clients throughout Colorado, we are often asked whether a deferred judgment and sentence Plea Bargain is the better course, or whether a straight plea – Plea Bargain, is best. These two options confront defendants charged with felony and misdemeanor crimes like criminal mischief, theft, or assault all the time. The best option? It depends on who you are. Read on, and we will explain. Read more on Deferred Judgment and Sentence.

What is the Definition of a Deferred Judgment in Arapahoe County and Douglas County, Colorado?

A deferred judgment is a legal process or procedure, where a person charged with a crime (the defendant) pleads guilty to a crime, enters onto probation (or something nearly identical), and agrees to perform conditions of the deferred for a period of time. Sentencing is deferred. That period might be 2-4 years on a low level felony, F6, F5 or F4, or 1-2 years for a misdemeanor. The advantage of a deferred judgment is that upon successful completion, you can have your record sealed. The disadvantage of a deferred judgment and sentence is that if you violate the deferred agreement, you come back to the court and get sentenced upon your plea of guilty, just as if you did not have a deferred agreement. Another key advantage of a deferred judgement is that your record will be clear for background checks done in your future. Younger people seeking an apartment and employment will especially benefit from this arrangement, as they are just starting their lives.

What is a Straight Plea in Adams County?

This is where you get a plea agreement which involves you pleading guilty to a crime which will be permanent. You get sentenced on your guilty plea. Typically, however, you are pleading to a reduced charge, unlike a deferred judgment and sentence, where you plead to the worst charge. A straight plea will involve probation, costs, fines, community service, etc. An older person might find a straight plea their best option, because their work history is past, they are retired, and they own their own home. They won’t be having any background checks done again. Sometimes a straight plea is… simply more simple. A deferred judgment can be more involved as you work your way out of a conviction.

What is the Definition of a Split Plea in Jefferson County, Colorado, in a Criminal Case?

A Split Plea involves getting a combination of what we describe above. You get a deferred judgment to the more serious charge (usually a felony) and a straight plea to a misdemeanor or low level felony. This type of plea is more common where a DA agrees you don’t deserve a permanent felony, but wants to sting you with a permanent plea so you can’t seal your record. Remember, if you enter a permanent plea to any charge in your case, you cannot seal your record later. The only advantage with this arrangement is that you can keep a felony off your record, as long as you successfully complete the deferred. You will still have a misdemeanor on your record along with the dismissed felony, which will be permanent.

Record Sealing – An Important Consideration for Juveniles and Adults in Denver Plea Bargains

One of the most important considerations in deciding whether to accept a plea bargain for a deferred judgement and sentence, or to a lesser, straight plea, is sealability. A straight deferred can be sealed upon successful completion, because no charges remain once dismissed. With a straight plea or a split plea, you cannot seal your record because at least one permanent conviction remains.

Call our criminal defense attorneys if you have more questions about plea offers of a deferred judgment or straight plea in your criminal case. We can be reached at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.

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