What Is Deferred Adjudication?

Deferred adjudication is a type of probation that can be offered as a sentencing alternative for Class A, B, and C misdemeanor charges in Texas. Being given a deferred adjudication does not mean the accused is found “not guilty.” Instead, the person is given a term of probation, and upon completion of all specific terms, their case is dismissed. The judge defers finding guilt, but proof of the arrest and deferred adjudication will remain on your record. In Texas, presence of the arrest and deferred adjudication for a Class C misdemeanor can be removed from a person’s criminal record through expungement.

What is the difference between deferred adjudication and regular probation?

There is much more risk associated with deferred adjudication, although if it is not violated, the charges are dismissed. On the other hand, regular probation has less risk, but it is considered a conviction, and charges cannot be dismissed. What do we mean by risk? If deferred adjudication is violated, the accused could face the maximum sentence, while with regular probation, the possible sentence upon violation is already set (usually a fairly short sentence).

Advantages of Deferred Adjudication

  • No conviction. Because there is no conviction through deferred adjudication, some penalties can be avoided. For instance, some drug charges require the suspension of a driver’s license upon conviction. If a person successfully completes deferred adjudication, this penalty will not apply.
  • Keep off public record. A person who successfully completes deferred adjudication can request for this information to be kept from private entities’ knowledge. There may be no need for expungement, and evidence of the arrest and charges will be hidden during important application processes (like applying for a job and a mortgage).

Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or someone you love has been charged with a misdemeanor in Texas, there is a possibility that charges can be dropped through deferred adjudication. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact Carroll Troberman, PLLC. Call today for a free consultation.

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