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Deferred Adjudication: What is it?

deferred adjudication in texas

Deferred adjudication is a type of probation that can help people with misdemeanor charges in Texas. It is also called deferred sentencing, which means the court will not sentence you until after you have successfully completed probation.

According to the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, article 42.12, Section 5(a), deferred adjudication means that the person pleads guilty but does not have to serve jail time or pay a fine. Instead, the court holds off on entering a judgment of guilt for the defendant and places them on probation – also called community supervision in Texas – for a certain period of time. If the defendant successfully completes their probation period without any additional violations, then the court will dismiss their case and seal them from public record.

On the other hand, if the defendant breaks the community supervision, the individual will be faced with the crime originally convicted and could lead to the maximum sentence permitted under Texas law.


Who is eligible? 

According to the Texas law, “Any defendant charged with a misdemeanor crime other than driving/flying/boating while intoxicated. In addition, any defendant charged with a felony, except:

  • Driving/flying/boating while intoxicated;  
  • Intoxication assault;  
  • Intoxication manslaughter;  
  • A repeat drug offense enhanced with a drug-free zone finding; and  
  • A repeat sex offense (indecency with a child, sexual assault or aggravated sexual assault).

Criminal history of the defendant and seriousness and violence level of crime are important factors into the imposition of deferred adjudication. 

The benefits of deferred adjudication 

This option can allow the defendant to avoid a criminal conviction and look better for an employment or housing application, as many do not ask about deferred adjudications. 

If you are looking for experienced criminal defense lawyers to potentially seal your criminal record in Texas, reach out to iLaw today and book a consultation. 

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