Template:Criminal procedure (trial) A deferred sentence is a sentence that is suspended until after a defendant has completed a period of probation. If the defendant fulfills the stipulations surrounding probation, a judge may then throw out the sentence and guilty plea, clearing the incident from their record. If the defendant violates probation, he or she must serve the full sentence immediately.
A defendant must plead guilty to at least one of the crimes he or she is accused of in order to receive a deferred sentence. The promise of a deferred sentence is often traded in exchange for a guilty plea in plea bargains.
Deferred sentences are often given to first time offenders, or to those who have committed relatively minor crimes, although ultimately, the choice to defer a sentence is left to a judge's discretion. 
In the state of New York, this is known as adjournment in contemplation of dismissal (ACOD). What typically happens in such a case is that the potential sentence is deferred for six months, and if the defendant stays out of trouble, the charge is dropped entirely with no public record of the offense.