Usually when someone wants to hire me to handle a Class C Misdemeanor, the first thing I try to do is explain to them how they can handle the case without a lawyer.
All you have to do is remember these two words: “deferred disposition.”
If you get a deferred disposition, you plead “no contest,” and then you must avoid all criminal charges that are more serious than a traffic or parking ticket for 6 months, do some community service, pay a deferral fee, and attend a class, but you’ll avoid a conviction.
Most people who hear this explanation are happy to go on their way, knowing what they need to know.
Others still want a lawyer to handle it for them. I still try to talk them out of hiring one. But some insist on hiring a lawyer for one reason or another.
And the question then comes up: what is the difference between a deferred disposition and a probation? Well, I’ve pretty much explained what a deferred disposition is.
Once you are placed on a probation, you must:
- Report to your probation officer (“P.O.”) at least once a month;
- Not leave the County without your P.O.’s permission;
- Allow your P.O. to visit you basically anywhere and anytime they want to;
- Not change your address without your P.O.’s permission;
- Not change employers without permission;
- Pay $60 per month as a supervision fee, in addition to whatever fine and other fees you have to pay;
With a deferred disposition, there’s none of that reporting, permission asking, or monthly fees.
It’s that easy.