North Carolina has a number of deferral programs that can really save a defendant from a conviction that could ruin their record or chances for employment. These deferral programs may be limited to first-time or low-level offenses, but are worth exploring with your attorney if you are charged with a misdemeanor or low-level felony and have a (pretty) clean record.

The assistant district attorneys have wide discretion on whether to offer or accept a request for a deferral program. Here’s how it works: the defendant agrees to do something (usually pay back money to the victim, or participate in parenting classes, or complete an alcohol or drug treatment program) and in exchange the District Attorney agrees to dismiss the criminal charges against the defendant.

The charges only get dismissed once the money has been paid back or the defendant has successfully completed the classes.  That means that the defendant needs to come back to court at a later date with proof that he has done what he was supposed to do.

But the result can be very good for the defendant.  Charges are dismissed, and nothing goes on his record.

The only downside is if the person does not do what he said he would do. If the person does not do what he said he would do by the next court date, he will be convicted of the offense.

If you want more information about a Raleigh, Apex, or Cary criminal lawyer who can represent you in Wake County’s Courts or arrange a deferral for you, call (919) 352-9411 before 10 pm on Weekdays, Weekends or on Holidays.  Or email at

Damon Chetson - 1008 posts

Damon Chetson is a Board Certified Specialist in State and Federal Criminal Law. He represents people charged with serious and minor offenses in Raleigh, Wake County, and the Eastern District of North Carolina. Call (919) 352-9411.

Deferred Prosecution, Drug Diversion