Deferred prosecution is a catch-all term for a variety of criminal intervention programs throughout the United States. These programs are designed to help first-time offenders avoid having a criminal conviction on their record. Deferred prosecution places a defendant's criminal case on hold while he or she participates in a program designed to punish, educate, and rehabilitate. These programs vary from state to state and according to the alleged criminal offense, but they often include fines, classes, and community service as primary components. If a defendant completes the program, the prosecutor's office will then drop the criminal case. If, however, a defendant fails to complete the program, the criminal case will resume.