Under Penal Code 1000 in California, a judge may dismiss a case against a defendant upon completion of a program or the satisfying of some other conditions. This is called Deferred Entry of Judgment.
The judge will put the charges on hold until the program or conditions are met, and then can dismiss the case. The eligibility for the program is based on the nature of the offense and the history and criminal record of the person on trial. Generally, minor offenses are able to be dismissed through such a procedure, but some misdemeanors are eligible, too.
Certain drug charges will not allow for a deferred entry of judgment, nor will it be granted for a defendant with prior convictions of such drug charges, parole violation, or recent felony convictions. The benefit of the deferred entry is that the defendant does not need to plead guilty to the offense in order to qualify. Also, upon completion of the program, the defendant does not carry the miserable burden of needing to disclose a conviction or criminal history to future employers or licensors. Perhaps most valuable to a defendant, is the avoidance of jail time. For many people accused of crimes, the punishment most commonly sought to be avoided is imprisonment. The program in PC 1000 allows the defendant to complete the program without this penalty.
It is important to retain a defense attorney that can seek this type of relief. Only a skilled attorney will be able to spot a defendant’s eligibility for the program and then adequately represent him or her in front of a judge to ensure a deferred entry of judgment is granted. The lifetime of trouble this procedure can prevent is undeniably prized.
If you or someone you know is facing criminal charges, or their professional license is at risk, contact Attorney Miranda McCroskey for an immediate consultation at (833) 865-6253 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.