90-96 is a type of deferral you could receive in North Carolina for a drug offense. The judicial system usually uses 90-96 deferral for drug crimes but has also used it for other offenses.
To qualify for the 90-96 program, you need to plead guilty or receive a guilty verdict for a drug crime. Ideally, this should also be your first drug offense.
You will likely have to undergo a substance abuse assessment if you choose a 90-96 deferral. Since addiction is a mental health issue, the judicial system strives to get help for those who need it. Addiction isn’t something you can overcome on your own.
You must follow the law to participate in the 90-96 program. If you get into trouble again, a judge may withdraw your participation.
Other common requirements of a 90-96 agreement are community service, regular drug screenings and drug addiction treatment. Assuming that you successfully complete the program without breaking any of the rules, the judge is likely to dismiss your drug charge.
North Carolina gives you 150 days to complete the North Carolina Drug Education School program if you take the 90-96 deferral agreement. This drug education program is a total of 15 hours long.
Defendants who are under 22 years of age can usually have their records completely expunged of drug crimes through the 90-96 program. A drug offense may still appear on your record as dismissed if you’re older. However, it’s still better to have a dismissed charge than a conviction.
Since there is greater awareness of drug addiction being a mental health issue, defendants who find themselves faced with drug crimes in North Carolina may have options on avoiding convictions. The 90-96 deferral is one possibility in which you admit guilt but go through drug education school in order to dismiss the charge and avoid a trial.