Conditional Discharge and Deferred Prosecution

by | Sep 26, 2017 | Blog Posts, NC Criminal Defense

Conditional Discharge and Deferred Prosecution in North Carolina

In North Carolina, sometimes a criminal defense client has special options available to help him or her avoid a criminal conviction. This blog provides an overview of conditional discharge and deferred prosecution in North Carolina.

Conditional Discharge: the Defendant is found guilty or pleads guilty, but is then placed on probation without the court setting judgment in the case, pending review at the end of the probation period. Once the requirements of the conditional discharge are met, the charges will be dismissed.

Conditional Discharge 90-96: for certain drug offenses

Must meet all of the following criteria:

  1. a person who has not been convicted of any felony offense under any state or federal laws
  2. a person who has not been convicted of any offense under Article 90-96
  3. a person who has no prior convictions of drug offenses or drug paraphernalia

What charges are eligible for this type of conditional discharge?

  1. any misdemeanor offense of a controlled substance
  2. possession of drug paraphernalia
  3. felony simple possession of a controlled substance under 90-95

Conditional Discharge North Carolina General Statute 15A-1341

Who is eligible?

  1. Must be a joint motion of both the Defendant and the prosecutor
  2. Any person that commits eligible misdemeanor offenses
  3. Any person that commits eligible Class H or I felonies

What are the requirements in order to be eligible?

  1. Each known victim of the crime has been notified of the motion for probation and has been given the opportunity to be heard.
  2. The Defendant has not been convicted of any felony or of any misdemeanor involving moral turpitude. (Moral Turpitude is defined as acts that contrary to community standards justice, honesty, or good morals).
  3. The Defendant has not previously been placed on probation and states so under oath.
  4. The Defendant is unlikely to commit another offense other than a Class 3 misdemeanor (least serious misdemeanor offense).

Deferred Prosecution: a formal agreement by the State to drop charges against a Defendant upon completion of certain conditions. However, unlike conditional discharge the Defendant is not convicted before the completion of either probation, community service, or paying restitution. Deferred prosecution waives the Defendant’s right to a trial and is an admission of guilt. If the Defendant fails to meet the terms of the deferred prosecution, they may be convicted of the original crime.

What are the requirements in order to be eligible?

  1. Only some low level felonies and misdemeanors are eligible.
  2. The Defendant must have no prior convictions.
  3. The victims are notified of the decision and given the chance to object.
  4. The likelihood of the Defendant committing another crime is none .

DISCLAIMER – This forum is intended for general questions and comments about the particular law or topic. Comments are public and are not protected by confidentiality or attorney-client privilege; therefore, they can be used against you in court. Please refrain from revealing your identify or specifics about any actual criminal case. No attorney-client relationship is created in this forum.

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