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Deferral Definition

A deferral is a sentence that a judge waits to impose to see if a defendant will faithfully follow specific terms and conditions set by court order, typically at a sentencing hearing. When a sentence is deferred, a judge will generally enter a conviction for a lesser crime or dismiss charges if the defendant is compliant. If a defendant is convicted of a probation violation, the judge might revoke the deferral status and enter the full conviction upon the defendant’s record. Although a prosecutor’s stipulation for a deferral is not always required, it is generally helpful if the defense attorney can persuade the prosecutor to support the request for a deferral.

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