Is deferred prosecution an option for me in North Carolina?

If you are facing misdemeanor charges in North Carolina, sometimes you may be able to enter into a diversionary plea agreement, which may help you to avoid a conviction. By meeting certain terms of the arrangement, the prosecutor may dismiss the legal action brought against you. Instead of being convicted, you may instead be required to perform community service, agree to probation or contact individuals affected by your actions. 

Which criminal offenses qualify for diversion?

Offenses related to impaired driving are not usually dismissible, but charges for the least serious classes of felonies are. Class H felonies may be dismissedand include offenses such as taking another individual’s property, possessing stolen goods and embezzlement. 

A recent example from North Carolina

As an example, when a couple was charged with taking two bags from the Raleigh-Durham International Airport that did not belong to them, they were able to enter into a deferred prosecution agreement, as reported by WRAL. After officials viewed the surveillance video of the couple taking the bags, they used the footage to identify them through their social media profiles and DMV records. In exchange for having their luggage theft charges dropped, the couple agreed to stay out of trouble for one year and perform some community service.  

Taking someone else’s bag off an airport conveyor belt can be an honest mistake, an overzealous prosecutor can threaten criminal accusations. Rather than taking your case to trial if you are facing criminal charges, a deferred prosecution agreement might be the better option.  

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