304.5Sentencing Issues

Deferrals and Conditional Discharges
Last Updated: 12/01/23

Key Concepts

  • Under a deferred prosecution agreement, the defendant is placed on probation for up to two years without a finding of guilt. If he or she successfully completes the probation, the charge is dismissed.
  • Under a conditional discharge, the defendant first pleads to or is found guilty of the offense and then is placed on probation. If the defendant successfully completes probation, the adjudication of guilt is withdrawn, and the case is dismissed.
  • A prayer for judgment continued postpones sentencing following a conviction for a specified period of time or indefinitely, depending upon the order.

For more information on these topics, see the related Pretrial entries on Deferral and Discharge Agreements for General Offenses (15A-1341) and for Drugs and Specific Offenses (G.S. 90-96), as well as the related Sentencing entry on Prayer for Judgment Continued.


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The PDF displayed in this entry is an excerpt from the 2018 North Carolina Sentencing Handbook, by James M. Markham and Shea Riggsbee Denning.