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What is a misdemeanor deferred adjudication?

Sacramento, CA |
Filed under: Misdemeanor crime

If you were caught with petty theft and had to go to one class and in return had no other punishment placed on you.. does this mean I was under deferred adjudication? I'm really concerned because I'm applying for something and they state they will deny me if I have a deferred adjudication on my record..

The court ordered me to go to the court. So does this mean I am still serving a misdemeanor deferred adjudication or is it off of my record now? I'm just not sure how it would show up on my record. I turned in my certificate of completion to the court and they said my case was dismissed... also, will this be counted as an "attempted misdemeanor offense?" or is that a whole different charge. I was never arrested.. the officer just came and gave me a citation for petty theft and when to appear in court. The DA then offered me a diversion class & once completed I had another court date to show my certificate of completion and I was told my case is dismissed..

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Were you ordered to do the class by the court? If so, then yes you got diversion. If you never went to court or did not do anything at the behest of the court OR the district attorney's office, then no case was ever filed against you. I have seen this scheme lately - the store and store security get you to go to a class and pay a large amount of money in exchange for not calling the police. It's a scam - unless you are ordered to do anything by the court (or told to in exchange for no prosecution by the DA), you are under no obligation to do anything.

    Mr. Feasel is a former prosecutor in San Mateo County (CA) with over 10 years of criminal law experience. Nothing stated on this site shall in anyway be construed as legal advice, or as creating any attorney/client relationship. If you would like to hire Mr. Feasel to further investigate your situation, feel free to contact him thru this site.


  2. Mr. Feasal raises some good points and has some good questions. Were you ever arrested by the police and taken to the police station for this petty theft, or just detained in the security office in the store? Did the police take a mug shot and your fingerprints? They would do that for misdemeanor charges. Were you arraigned in a courtroom and pled "not guilty" before you were offered this class to go to. If the answers to all those questions is "no", you won't have anything on your record, including an arrest.

    This answer is provided under the Avvo.com “Terms and Conditions of Use” (“ToU”), particularly ¶9 which states that any information provided is not intended as legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship between you and Mr. Lebowitz or any other attorney. Such information is intended for general informational purposes only and should be used only as a starting point for addressing your legal issues. In particular, my answers and those of others are not a substitute for an in-person or telephone consultation with an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction about your specific legal issue, and you should not rely solely upon Legal Information you obtain from this website or other resources which may be linked to an answer for informational purposes. You understand that questions and answers or other postings to the Site are not confidential and are not subject to attorney-client privilege. The full Avvo ToU are set forth at http://www.avvo.com/support/terms . In addition, while similar legal principles often apply in many states, Mr. Lebowitz is only licensed to practice in the State of New York and Federal Courts. Any general information he provides about non-New York laws should be checked with an attorney licensed to practice in your State.


  3. You need to consult with a licensing attorney. You should also check the application that you are applying...usually there is a definition of the terms that are used. See if they define what they mean by "deferred adjudication".

    In California, terms related to a deferred judgment vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Some have names like "plea in abeyance" "deferred entry of judgment" etc. Some courts want you to plead guilty in order to receive the benefit and then they put sentencing off until you completed whatever you needed to do in order to receive the dismissal. While other courts do not require any plea to be entered.

    There are various consequences that you have depending on whether you entered a plea, didn't enter a plea, whether the case was filed not filed, etc.

    It sounds like you might have a valid concerns and therefore you should consult with the licensing attorney I suggested. You might get a free consultation or in the alternative a small fee that you could pay and you would know the legal answer to your question.

    The above information does not establish an attorney client relationship nor is it meant to provide legal advice.

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