Deferred Disposition in a Criminal Case

Posted on March 18, 2014 in Criminal Defense, Personal Representation

Don’t Blow a Second Chance

Sometimes a defense attorney is able to land her client a chance to have a charge dismissed or reduced by persuading the court or making an agreement with a prosecutor. The court generally wants something in exchange for this. Often a court will order a defendant to attend a class, complete community service, go to counseling, or successfully complete a substance abuse program within a specific time period.

When a court orders you to complete 50 hours of community service to have your charge dismissed, don’t wait until the week before court to start volunteering. When the judge assigns you a probation officer to monitor your substance abuse classes and drug screens, go to your appointments. When the judge orders you to complete a domestic violence class, go to the class.

If you don’t comply with the court’s order, you most likely will find yourself with a new charge in addition to the underlying charge you had taken under advisement. What happens when you go back before the judge with a lousy excuse for why you haven’t completed the class you had months or even years to complete? You may go to jail. You may be convicted of two charges instead of one. You may forever have a criminal history because you did not do what the court ordered. Some defendants think that since they have a second chance, they can get a third, fourth or fifth. It is a good idea to seek legal counsel if you find yourself in this position.