Deferred Prosecution Program and Expungements in Asheville, NC
DEFERRED PROSECUTION INFORMATION SHEET
Rodney G. Hasty, Attorney
Deferred Prosecution is a program set up for individuals with no prior record who get charged with fairly minor crimes, including misdemeanors and, in some cases, very low level felonies. The intent of the program is to allow these individuals an opportunity to have the charges DISMISSED upon completion of a Deferred Prosecution Contract. In the Contract, the individual must admit guilt to the charges, agree to perform community service, report regularly to the Deferred office, stay in school or remain gainfully employed, submit to random drug screens (in some cases), and pay the community service fee and other court costs. The process is as follows:
I send or email you an application for Deferred Prosecution. I will fill out the charges, the court date, any codefendants, and the attorney information when you send it back so don’t fill in those portions. You fill out the remaining portions dealing with information about yourself. On the second page, you are required to write a statement admitting guilt. This statement can be very short and concise—there is no need to go into great detail, just a short and simple statement admitting what happened.
You return the application to me so I can fill out the remaining information. I then prepare a cover sheet and letter to the District Attorney to include with the application. I then submit the application to the District Attorney for approval. I usually speak directly with the Assistant D.A. in charge of the Deferred program to assure that he will approve the application.
I will call or email you to let you know the application has been submitted.
Once the application has been submitted, it can take a couple of weeks to a month for the Deferred office to process it. After processing, they will contact you directly to set up an appointment. At the appointment, they will go over the terms of the Contract so that you understand everything you need to do to complete it. They work with your location and schedule in determining where the community service is to be completed. They will also give you a total amount of the monies that need to be paid. THESE MONIES MUST BE PAID IN FULL ON THE FINAL COURT DATE WHEN THE JUDGE APPROVES THE CONTRACT. The Clerk’s office only takes case, money orders, or certified checks. I recommend that you just bring the amount in cash to the court date to be ready to pay.
Because the office takes a while to process the application, there are many times when the first court date doesn’t allow enough time to get the process complete. In the case that we need more time for the process, I WILL APPEAR FOR YOU at the first court date and continue it. I will then notify you of the new court date. You DO NOT need to be present for that first court date if we decide we need more time. I will discuss whether or not the case needs to be continued when you first hire me so you will know what’s going to happen.
Once the application has been processed and you have reviewed and signed the Contract, I will appear with you on your next scheduled court date to have the Judge officially approve the Contract. Again, all of the monies must be paid in full ON THIS DATE. This is a quick and simple process—I will meet you at the courthouse, pull your file, and coordinate with the Deferred office to have their representative present. We then stand up in front of the Judge and present the Contract, he approves it, then you pay your monies and that part of the process is complete.
At that court date when the Judge approves the Contract, the charges are dismissed WITH LEAVE. What that means is that the charges are dismissed but the District Attorney has leave to bring the charges back into court if the terms of the Contract are not completed. If this happens, the charges go back into court just as if you never attempted Deferred in the first place.
Upon completion of the Contract, the charges are then VOLUNTARILY DISMISSED. This means that the dismissal is final and no further action will occur in the case. This happens automatically upon completion of the Contract—no further court appearances are required.
After the charges are finally dismissed, you can correctly state on any application that you have no criminal convictions. However, if someone were to run your criminal record, the system will still show that you were CHARGED with the offenses and that those offenses were dismissed. If you wish to eliminate all records that you were ever even charged with these offenses, then you need what’s called an EXPUNGEMENT. This process requires that the Clerk’s office literally shred your file and remove all traces of it from the Criminal Information System. Upon completion of that expungement process, if someone were to look up your criminal record it would not show anything relating to ever being charged with the offense. If you wish to hire me to handle an expungement, the fee is a one-time $500.00 up front flat fee. You are welcome to hire me or someone else, or you may decide that you don’t need an expungement—I just wanted to make sure you are aware that such a procedure exists to remove any traces of your charges from the system.