What is Deferred Adjudication?

If you were recently arrested in Texas, you need to understand your legal options to avoid conviction. One of those options is deferred adjudication. 

What is Deferred Adjudication? 

Essentially, deferred adjudication is a type of plea agreement that allows defendants to avoid a trial and a potential conviction. First, you must enter either a “guilty” or “no contest” plea to your alleged criminal charge to accept responsibility without having a conviction placed on your record. In exchange, a judge will order community supervision (also known as probation). 

Who is Eligible? 

Deferred adjudication is generally for first-time offenders. If you were charged with a misdemeanor offense – not including DWI, BWI, or flying while intoxicated – then you are eligible for deferred adjudication. 

Furthermore, any felony offense is eligible, except for the following crimes: 

  • DWI/BWI/flying while intoxicated 

  • Intoxication assault (DWI causing injury) 

  • Intoxication manslaughter (DWI causing injury) 

  • A second drug offense involving a drug-free zone 

  • A second sex crime 

How Long Does Deferred Adjudication Last? 

In misdemeanor cases, deferred adjudication lasts up to two years. For felony offenses, the program lasts up to 10 years. When it comes to first-time sex crimes, deferred adjudication lasts at a minimum of five years. 

What are the Conditions? 

Although the answer varies from case to case, the following are some of the standard conditions associated with deferred adjudication probation: 

  • Regularly report to a probation officer 

  • Random drug testing 

  • Avoid committing further crimes or being associated with persons or places 

  • Pay any legal fines or fees 

  • Pay restitution owed to victims of your alleged crime 

  • Maintain child support obligations 

What Happens If You Complete Deferred Adjudication? 

When you successfully complete the terms and conditions of community supervision, your entire case will be dismissed, and a conviction will not appear on your record. On the other hand, if you violate your probation, you may be ordered to serve your original sentence, which may include jail or prison time. 

If you or a loved one was recently arrested in Bryan or College Station, TX, contact Rodriguez & Gimbert, P.L.L.C. today for a free initial consultation. Get a legal team with more than 45 years of combined experience on your side!