What Is a Deferred Sentence in Oklahoma?

A deferred sentence in Oklahoma is when a judge has found someone guilty of a crime but delays sentencing until a later date. This delay can last from one day to five years, according to the Oklahoma County website.

The Oklahoma County website explains that a criminal conviction is not complete until the offender has been both found guilty and punished for a crime. A judge in Oklahoma may delay sentencing for specified period during which if the guilty individual complies with the requirements of the deferred sentence, the court will dismiss the case and it will not appear on the person's criminal record. Possible instructions from the court may include an order to pay all court costs and fees, see a probation officer or partake in treatment. Failure to complete these requirements or being charged with another crime may result in the defendant having to serve the full sentence.

Oklahoma County District Attorney David W. Prater explains that a deferred sentence is different from a suspended sentence. In a suspended sentence, an individual is convicted of a crime but is instead put on probation for all or part of the sentence. As long as that individual fulfills all the conditions of the probation, the sentence is usually dismissed by the judge. A suspended sentence may require that the convicted party periodically report to a probation officer.