If you’re charged with a misdemeanor crime in Orange County you may be eligible for a program that is currently being utilized by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. This program is the Deferred Entry Of Judgement Program or DEJ. Not all misdemeanors are eligible but if yours is, or your attorney can convince the District Attorney’s Office that yours should be, you can have your case eventually dismissed.
The DEJ Program requires that you plead guilty with a continuance of your sentencing while you submit to a DNA test, are fingerprinted, photographed, complete a one or two day life skills class and not get arrested for 90 days. Your DNA sample does go into the “system” and can be used against you if your DNA ends up at a crime scene in the future. However, if you do all of the above you can withdraw your guilty plea and have your case dismissed 90 days after your plea is entered. Of course, if you do get arrested in the 90 day window or fail to do the class or not live up to your end of the bargain, your conviction would remain and you would be sentenced.
While this program is in existence, and there’s no guarantee it will continue, it is a great option to keep a conviction off your record.
Many types of crimes are eligible for this relief from resisting arrest (Penal Code Section 148(a)) to petty theft (Penal Code Section 484-488) to various drug offenses. Unfortunately, driving under the influence (DUI)(California Vehicle Code Sections 23152(a) etc.) are not eligible for DEJ. Even so, when charged with a misdemeanor in Orange County it’s really important to know your options and to have a knowledgeable attorney assist you in looking for every possible way to work within the system to your advantage.