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Deferred Adjudication in Oklahoma


Question: Does Oklahoma have deferred adjudication?

Answer: Oklahoma does not use the term “deferred adjudication.” I know some other states do, I believe Texas does, but we don’t use that term. We do have two types of deferment, though. The first is called a deferred sentence, and that is when a person is actually sentenced to probation. They plead guilty or no contest and they’re sentenced to probation, but the judgment against that person is reserved, it’s withheld if you will. And if the person completes all of the requirements of their probation, then at the end of their deferred sentence, at the end of their probationary period, then they have a chance to be found not guilty and have the charges dismissed and potentially expunged off of their record.

The second type of deferment is rare, but it’s called deferred prosecution. Again, this is extremely rare. This is usually going to be done by agreement and usually before charges are even filed against your client. So, whereas a deferred sentence, charges are filed, you’re put on probation but you have a chance to keep it off your record because judgment is reserved, here charges don’t even get filed. You are not even prosecuted for the charges. And you’re in a way informally I wouldn’t call it probation, but you’re being watched by the district attorney’s office or the government agency that you’re dealing with. And if you satisfy whatever your agreement with that agency is, then the agreement usually ends in charges never being filed and you never being prosecuted.

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