In Texas, some criminal defendants are eligible for a unique type of probation called ‘deferred adjudication’.
To put it simply, deferred adjudication is a specialized form of probation through which the defendant is given an opportunity to keep a conviction off of their criminal record.
When available, deferred adjudication offers significant benefits.
If you or your family member was arrested and charged with a crime, an experienced Waco, TX criminal defense attorney can help you explore all the available options for deferred adjudication.
Deferred Adjudication in Texas: Three Things You Need to Know
1. What is Deferred Adjudication?
As explained by the Administrative Director of the Texas Office of Court Administration, deferred adjudication is a specialized form of court-mandated community supervision (probation) that allows a defendant to accept culpability for the offense, without ever having a conviction on their criminal record. This happens through something called an ‘order of nondisclosure’.
In other words, if a defendant is offered deferred adjudication in relation to their case, and they are able to successfully complete the terms of their community supervision, then the charges against them will be kept confidential. This means that there will be no official public record of conviction.
It should be noted that juries cannot offer defendants deferred adjudication. It can only be entered by a judge — typically after an agreement is reached between the defendant and the prosecution.
2. Understanding Your Eligibility for Deferred Adjudication
Deferred adjudication is not available in every case.
Under Texas law (Texas Code of Criminal Procedure 42.12, Section 5), there are eligibility requirements that must be met for a defendant to be granted deferred adjudication.
Indeed, certain offenses cannot be resolved through the deferred adjudication process under any circumstances. Further, some repeat offenders may not be eligible for this type of probation.
3. How a Waco, TX Defense Lawyer Can Help
If you or your family member was arrested in Central Texas, you need a strong, experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side.
At the Law Office of Simer & Tetens, our Waco criminal defense attorneys work tirelessly to provide each and every client with the best legal defense strategy — whether that means fighting back against false charges directly or looking for all available options for deferred probation.
It is important to emphasize the fact that deferred adjudication is something that prosecutors are not required to offer to defendants. Like other forms of probation, it is negotiated.
No matter the circumstances of your case, our Waco defense lawyers are prepared to help you determine if you are eligible for deferred adjudication and ready to take proactive steps to make sure that your rights are protected.
Discuss Your Case With Our Waco, TX Criminal Defense Lawyers Today
At the Law Office of Simer & Tetens, our Texas criminal defense attorneys are committed and compassionate advocates for our clients. We will help you find the solution that works best for your case. To set up a free, confidential initial consultation, please reach out to our legal team today.
From our law office in Waco, we represent defendants throughout Central Texas, including in Crawford, Hewitt, and Bellmead.