Deferred Probation

Definition - What does Deferred Probation mean?

Deferred probation is a legal condition that stipulates first-time offenders receive a postponement of sentencing under the terms that corrective behavior ensues within an appointed time frame to avoid incarceration. The adjudication process begins with a defendant pleading guilty, but the justice will grant a probationary period that levies specific obligations for an offender to meet before an expungement of a criminal record follows.

WorkplaceTesting explains Deferred Probation

Deferred probation serves as an auxiliary method in receiving a dismissal for charges, thus, negating a standing criminal record. Subsequently, a defendant may qualify for filing a petition of nondisclosure, a clause that overrides civilian background checks unless applying for a government position. Furthermore, if a defendant violates their probation, a motion to accelerate sentencing may occur in which the judge recognizes the guilty plea by issuing a term of imprisonment for the full sentence.

The underlying premise for deferred probation is to avoid conviction, which can carry negative consequences when pursuing career opportunities, applying for grants, loans, and scholarships, or receiving licensure to run a business. Depending on the charges, defendants that adhere to judicial regulations by paying all court costs and fees and demonstrate reformed behavior can receive early expungement. Although deferred probation is a measure to deter a criminal record, applicants and employees can face challenges in securing or holding a job where a routine background check may not provide comprehensive reports for pending charges.

Deferred probation sets the groundwork for probationers to conform to societal standards of conduct where steady employment can mean the difference between exonerating charges or violating parole. However, employers may perform thorough background checks under questionable circumstances, revealing expunged records that may lead to perceived stigmas in the workplace. Successful completion of deferred probation is a favorable alternative to a conviction, which is a permanent mark on public records.

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