Thank you for your terrific question.
Yes, he is eligible for a deferred finding if he has not had a prior deferred finding.
An intermediate driver's license (IDL) holder faces more severe consequences to the driving privilege if the IDL holder receives two or more infractions during the IDL endorsement period. Therefore, fighting the ticket makes the most sense, although for some individuals a deferred finding is not a bad option, if the court allows it. Caution: a deferred finding is discretionary with the judge - a judge does not have to grant a deferred finding. The second note of caution is that intermediate drivers often make driving mistakes and may get pulled over at a higher incident rate than older drivers. If the period of a deferred finding is substantial, the risk that an IDL holder will get pulled over and cited again is high, making a deferred finding moot if the terms of the deferred finding are violated because of a second ticket. That is why people should seriously consider fighting the ticket rather than trying to defer a finding on the ticket.
the only thing I can add is that most judges will let you take the deferred but only if you agree not to fight your ticket. This is why you need to make up your mind before you go to court. If you fight the ticket and do not win, you cannot say, "okay, now I want that deferred." It's either take the deferral or contest, not both.