In 2009 I was charged with a misdemeanor of embezzlement < $250 and was given 6 months probation and restitution and it was my understanding that the charge would go away once completed. I have no prior convictions, and no new convictions. However, when I look up my case which is now disposed, it shows charge 1 embezzlement, guilty deferred, then it shows charge 2, failure to pay fines imposed, guilty. But when I look at the sentence portion, it shows that probation was completed successfully and all fines paid in full. I paid restitution and probation fines so I'm not sure why there's a charge 2, and does the guilty deferred disposition mean it's a conviction? I thought if it said deferred it did not count. I am worried this will affect my employment prospects. Is expungement possible?
Criminal Defense Attorney
Deferred "counts" if you ever get another conviction, and could affect employment prospects if they do a criminal records check and it pops up. New Mexico does not have an expungement statute and it not really an option. You could contact the clerk of the court and get the squirrely count two fixed in the system. They just typed it wrong. And like another lawyer suggested, you could get the court to sign an Order Dismissing the Case since you completed your term of deferment. You don't want to put in the order language that you pled guilty and completed your deferral period because someday you may need to show a prospective employer the dismissal and try and downplay the whole mess. Just "Order of Dismissal" and "This matter came before the court on defendant's motion to dismiss, and finding good cause, this case is hereby dismissed with prejudice." This is the best possible dismissal document if a future employer finds it and asks you what it is. Of course a misdemeanor is not a felony and should not prevent future employment but the dismissal order is your backup plan.
In some jurisdictions, a deferred sentence requires additional action on the defendant's part in order to have the charge[s] dismissed. If you successfully completed probation, completed all probation requirements, paid all fines and assessments, and did all this in a timely fashion as ordered, you then file a motion at the end of your probationary period asking for the charges to be dismissed. You then should have your motion granted if you did everything you were supposed to and stayed out of trouble. Then your record will show as a dismissal rather than conviction.
Criminal Defense Attorney
I agree with Mr. Aarons. It is still a conviction for now, and you should get your dismissal to which you are entitled. You need to do something to get the "guilty deferred" changed to a "dismissed." The fastest and most effective way to do this is to go to the court and ask for a dismissal. The clerk will give you a form order. If you need help with this, contact me, Chip Venie, at 505 766 9000. You need to get that changed to "dismissed" in the system or it will keep haunting you and hurting your job prospects.