Deferred Judgment Law & Legal Definition


A deferred judgment refers to a postponed or delayed judgment. In a deferred judgment, the court gives a defendant an opportunity to complete a probationary period before sentencing and prior to any entry of conviction. If the defendant successfully completes probation at the conclusion of the probationary period the court will review the defendant's file and may dismiss the charges against him/her. If, however, the defendant does not follow all of the terms and conditions of probation the court may enter the conviction and sentence the defendant accordingly. Normally, if a person pleads guilty or is found guilty of criminal charges the case proceeds to sentencing. If a deferred judgment is obtained the case is frozen between the guilty plea and sentencing.