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Deferred Dispositions

Deferred Dispositions under 18.2-57.3 in Virginia: Navigating Legal Options

Introduction Deferred disposition, as outlined in Virginia Code § 18.2-57.3, offers an alternative legal route for certain offenders. This article delves into the specifics of deferred dispositions under this statute, its implications, and the process involved in Virginia's legal system.

Understanding Deferred Disposition

Definition and Purpose Deferred disposition refers to a legal process where the court postpones judgment on a case, providing the defendant with an opportunity to meet certain conditions. If these conditions are successfully met, the charges may be dismissed or reduced.

Eligibility for Deferred Disposition under 18.2-57.3

Statutory Criteria Virginia Code § 18.2-57.3 specifically addresses deferred disposition in cases involving assault and battery against a family or household member. To be eligible, defendants must meet criteria such as being a first-time offender.

Limitations and Exceptions Not all cases of assault and battery qualify for deferred disposition. The statute outlines specific circumstances and conditions under which a court may consider this option.

The Process of Obtaining Deferred Disposition

Filing a Motion To initiate a deferred disposition, a defendant or their attorney must file a motion in court. This motion requests the court to consider deferring the disposition of the case.

Court Hearing and Evaluation During a hearing, the court evaluates the case, the defendant's background, and the circumstances surrounding the offense to determine eligibility for deferred disposition.

Hire a Lawyer Skilled counsel can negotiate for a deferral. If you have are charged with Assault and Battery of a Family Member, contact Mr. R. Tyler Bezilla today.

Conditions and Requirements

Mandatory Conditions Typical conditions for deferred disposition may include completing anger management programs, community service, or other rehabilitative measures.

Monitoring and Compliance Compliance with these conditions is closely monitored, often involving regular check-ins with the court or a probation officer.

Legal Implications of Deferred Disposition

Potential for Charge Dismissal Successful completion of the deferred disposition program can lead to dismissal of charges, offering a path to avoid a criminal record.

Consequences of Non-Compliance Failure to meet the conditions can result in the reinstatement of charges and proceeding to trial or sentencing.

Impact on Criminal Records

Deferred Disposition and Background Checks While successful completion can lead to dismissal, the record of the initial charge and deferred disposition may still appear in background checks.


  1. Who is eligible for deferred disposition under 18.2-57.3? Eligibility typically includes first-time offenders of family or household assault and battery.

  2. What are the typical conditions imposed under deferred disposition? Conditions may include completing a rehabilitation program, community service, and avoiding further legal troubles.

  3. Can deferred disposition be applied in all assault and battery cases? No, deferred disposition under 18.2-57.3 is specific to certain family or household assault cases.

  4. What happens if the conditions of deferred disposition are not met? Non-compliance can result in the reinstatement of charges and proceeding with trial or sentencing.

  5. Does a deferred disposition guarantee a clean criminal record? While it can lead to dismissal of charges, the record of the arrest and deferred disposition may still be visible in some background checks.


Deferred dispositions under Virginia Code § 18.2-57.3 provide a valuable legal option for eligible individuals charged with assault and battery against a family or household member. Understanding this statute, its requirements, and implications is crucial for defendants seeking to navigate this alternative path in the Virginia legal system.

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