Posted on March 10, 2017

Explanation of California Deferred Entry Judgment (“DEJ”)

Under Penal Code section 1000, deferred entry judgment “DEJ” permits a criminal defendant to withhold adjudication of their case and participate in treatment classes, in lieu of being formally sentenced.  If a defendant successfully completes the terms of their diversion, the court will withdraw its finding of guilt and the case will be dismissed.  It was initially enacted for first time drug offenders but has since expanded in its application for other offenses.

Formally called Deferred Entry Judgment – it means that after entering a plea, formal pronouncement of judgement is continued or deferred.  The court orders a defendant to complete certain obligations.  Upon successful completion of the terms of diversion, the court will dismiss the case.

The term diversion is often used interchangeably with informal diversion and formal diversion.  Informal diversion permits a defendant to complete classes or terms agreed upon with the District Attorney, and upon completion of those obligations, the case will be dismissed.  Whereas, formal diversion requires a defendant to enter a guilty or no-contest plea.  Informal diversion is far more advantageous than formal diversion because it does not require any finding of guilt.

California DEJ was enacted as part of an effort for those who are accused of first time offenses, simple drug possession, or minor offenses, to avoid having to disclose the presence of a criminal conviction on private job applications.  However, any plea to DEJ must be disclosed on any public employment application – e.g., law enforcement, city, state, federal.

For more information, contact an Orange County Criminal Defense Lawyer at the Law Offices of John D. Rogers to schedule a free consultation.

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