When people think about a criminal sentence, they often think about jail time. And while a prison sentence is a common outcome in today’s legal system, the courts are beginning to utilize sentencing that focus more on rehabilitation and redeeming yourself than punishment.
What Does a Deferred Sentence Mean When Related to a DUI?
A deferred sentence is a type of probation over a conviction. It’s a way for the judge to defer what would be your sentence for a certain amount of time.
This means that the defendant will typically plead out to some type of charge in exchange for a deferred sentence. At that point a judge will assign a certain amount of prison time for the crime. The judge will then allow the defendant to be placed on probation instead of serving that time behind bars. If the defendant complies with the requirements of the probation, they will not be sent to jail. At the end of the probation period, the defendant may be able to have the charges dismissed and not have them on their permanent record.
Who Can Be Given a Deferred Sentence?
Deferment is most often used for first time offenders. People who have been previously convicted of felonies are not eligible for deferred sentences, and people who have been given a deferred judgment within the past ten years are usually not eligible.
Requirements When Given a Deferred Sentence
The judge has a lot of leeway in the details of the deferred sentence. For a DUI charge, a defendant who is given a deferred sentence, the defendant may potentially have to:
- Complete a drug and alcohol abuse assessment
- Enroll in DUI school
- Attend a victim’s impact panel
- Perform a certain amount of community service
- Pay a certain amount of money that will cover legal fees and other related costs
All of these consequences are possible, as well as other requirements that the judge believes are necessary for the rehabilitation of the defendant.
How Long Will a Deferred Sentence Last?
In the state of Oklahoma, a deferred sentence can last up to seven years. In most cases, you can expect a number of years of probation before the deferred sentence is completed.
Deferred sentences are often a positive outcome for defendants. They can prevent the DUI conviction from being permanently added to your record and more importantly can keep you out of jail.
If you are facing DUI charges, it is important to immediately seek legal representation. Through proactive legal action, it may be possible to get the charges reduced or dismissed altogether.
At The Hunsucker Legal Group we win what seem unwinnable cases for our clients. Read our online reviews and schedule a free, no obligation consultation online to learn more about how we can help you.
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