What is Deferred Adjudication in Texas?

Deferred adjudication probation is a form of probation where the defendant pleads guilty or no contest, to a class B misdemeanor or higher, in front of a judge. The judge may accept the defendant’s plea and defer further proceedings without entering an adjudication of guilt. The judge then places the defendant on deferred adjudication community supervision.

A defendant is NOT eligible for deferred adjudication for the following:

  • Trafficking of Persons
  • Continuous Trafficking of Persons
  • Driving While Intoxicated with Child Passenger
  • Flying While Intoxicated
  • Assembling or Operating an Amusement Ride While Intoxicated
  • Intoxication Assault
  • Intoxication Manslaughter
  • Driving While Intoxicated with a Commercial Driver’s License
  • Driving While Intoxicated with .15 or higher BAC
  • Boating While Intoxicated with a Commercial Driver’s License
  • Boating While Intoxicated with .15 or higher BAC
  • Certain Drug Offenses Committed in Drug Free Zone
  • Indecency with a Child
  • Sexual Assault
  • Aggravated Sexual Assault
  • Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution
  • Compelling Prostitution
  • Aggravated Assault
  • Murder, except if the judge determines defendant did not cause death, intend to kill, and did not anticipate that a human life would be taken

For more information on DWI cases and deferred adjudication take a look at this blog post http://erictorberson.com/can-i-get-deferred-adjudication-for-a-dwi-in-texas.

How Long is Deferred Adjudication?

Deferred Adjudication for felony cases is a maximum of 10 years. For misdemeanor cases the maximum length of deferred adjudication is 2 years. A misdemeanor probation can be extended to 3 years.

The 3 year misdemeanor probation may again be extended another 2 years if the defendant has failed to pay money and the 2 year addition extension will increase the likelihood that the money will be paid.

Deferred Adjudication and Employment

A background check will allow employers to see the arrest. There is no adjudication so there will be no conviction showing on a background check.

How Do I Get Deferred Adjudication Off My Record?

Once Deferred Adjudication is completed the defendant is eligible for a Non Disclosure. For a felony there is a 5 year waiting period.

For a misdemeanor there is a 2 year waiting period after probation if the offense was under Texas Penal Code Chapter 20, 21, 22, 25, 42, 43 or 46.

Penal Code ChapterMisdemeanor Charge 2 year Waiting Period
20Operation of Stash House, Unlawful Restraint
21Public Lewdness, Indecent Exposure
25Harboring Runaway Child, Violation of P.O.
42Disorderly Conduct, Obstruction of Highway, Harassment, Abuse of Corpse, Cruelty to Livestock Animals, Attack on Assistance Animal, Cruelty to Nonlivestock
46Unlawful Carrying Weapons, Unlawful Possession of Firearm

Once the defendant is eligible he or she will file a petition with the court for an order of nondisclosure. The state is sent notice for an opportunity for a hearing. If the judge considers it in the best interest of justice, the court shall sign an order prohibiting criminal justice agencies from disclosing criminal history records relating to the offense placed on deferred adjudication.

For more information take a look at my home page http://erictorberson.com

Author: Eric Torberson

Eric Torberson is a licensed attorney in Texas as well as licensed in the federal courts of the southern and western districts of Texas.