What is a deferred entry of judgment?
Like many parents, you want your child to have the best shot at a good life. So if your child runs into trouble with the law, you naturally would have concerns that a criminal record will hamper your child in adulthood. Fortunately, there are options available to clear your child’s criminal record. One of them is a deferred entry of judgment.
According to the state of California, a juvenile arrested for a crime may pursue a deferred entry of judgment even if charged with a single felony. If successful, a DEJ may keep your child’s record clear of any mention of the arrest or criminal charge.
Going through probation
A DEJ is a form of probation. There are basic criteria your child would have to meet for consideration for DEJ. If your child meets these criteria, the next step is for your child to go to a suitability hearing. This will determine if DEJ would benefit your child. If the court approves your child for DEJ, your child would then have to admit guilt to the charges.
From there, you and your child would sign a contract in which you agree to the terms of your child’s probation. Your child may have to complete community service, pay fines and meet other conditions of probation. Your child will also have to attend progress review hearings for the court to verify that your child is keeping up with the terms of probation.
Results of DEJ
If your child completes DEJ, a number of actions will occur to clear your child’s record. The court will order the withdrawal of your child’s admission of guilt. The court will dismiss the case and seal your child’s criminal record. The court will then deem that your child’s arrest never occurred.
The end result of these actions is that for most purposes, your child’s court case does not exist. So your child can honestly and legally answer that he or she does not possess a criminal record when interviewed for a job or a loan application. A DEJ may not work for all minors charged with a crime, so review your options carefully in the event law enforcement places your child under arrest.