What is Deferred Adjudication in Texas?

A deferred adjudication is a special form of community supervision that allows an individual to avoid the risk of incarceration and a final conviction.

In order to be granted deferred adjudication, a defendant must enter a plea of “guilty” or “no contest” and waive many constitutional rights in exchange for a pathway to dismissal. This typically involves being on community supervision for an agreed period of time and completing and abiding by an agreed set of terms and conditions.

The judge “defers” a finding of guilt during this term. Upon successful completion, the case is dismissed, and there is no final conviction. In some circumstances, the charge can later be sealed or expunged. Learn more.

  • Is Deferred Adjudication Considered a Conviction in Texas?

    No. If a judge grants deferred adjudication, then upon the successful discharge from community supervision the defendant is released from the charge and it is dismissed.
  • Does Deferred Adjudication Stay on Your Record?

    Yes. The disposition (final result) will show as dismissed, but the record of the arrest and prosecution will remain. So, while there is no final conviction, the arrest and charge will appear on background checks, unless expunged or sealed. Learn more.

Is Deferred Adjudication Better than Straight Probation?

Deferred adjudication is better than straight probation. Deferred adjudication begins with no conviction and a guaranteed pathway to dismissal. If all terms and conditions are met by the end of a deferred term, the charge is dismissed. In many cases, the charge can later be sealed through a petition for non-disclosure. Learn more about deferred adjudication vs straight probation here.

  • What are the Risks of Deferred Adjudication?

    The main risk with deferred adjudication is the severity of the consequences for noncompliance. If the State files a Motion to Revoke probation during the period of supervision, the judge can order any punishment they choose, up to the maximum. Learn more.
  • Is Deferred the Same as Dismissed?

    No. Applying for and completing deferred adjudication is not the same as if the case were dismissed by the State for a different reason. While deferred adjudication is the best outcome in many situations, it’s important to review the potential collateral consequences deferred adjudication for a particular charge can have.

Can you get Deferred Adjudication for DWI in Texas?

If you have been charged with DWI in San Antonio on or after September 1, 2019, you may be eligible for DWI deferred adjudication. There are a number of qualifying factors, including blood alcohol concentration (BAC), and whether or not the incident involved an accident. Learn more.

Trey Porter Named Best Criminal Defense Lawyer in San Antonio

Mr. Porter has been voted by his peers as one of San Antonio’s Best Lawyers every year since 2015, with specific recognition in the fields of Criminal Defense and DWI Defense. Mr. Porter is also recognized by the National Trial Lawyers Association as a Top 40 Under 40 Criminal Defense Lawyer, and holds a 10.0 Superb rating from AVVO, where attorneys are rated based on skillful litigation, client satisfaction, peer endorsements, and positive results. Learn more.

What is Deferred Adjudication in Texas?

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    CHARGES DISMISSED

    DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED .15

    Driving facts involved failing to maintain a single lane and speeding. Client refused breath test and forced law enforcement to obtain search warrant for blood. Blood test result was not used after challenge from Defense, and State waived and abandoned charge.

    CHARGES DISMISSED

    DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE

    Client was a college student, worried about the collateral consequences of an alcohol offense. After negotiation and review of the traffic stop, the case was dismissed. Client received no criminal conviction. The charge was later expunged and deleted from client’s record.

    CHARGES DISMISSED

    DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED .15+

    Client was involved in minor accident. Client was at fault in accident. A young executive, client was concerned that a criminal conviction for DWI would result in termination. After review of the traffic stop, it was clear the officer lacked probable cause for arrest. State eventually dismissed DWI charge. Client received no criminal conviction.

    CHARGES DISMISSED

    DWI 2nd

    Client, a military veteran, was facing up to one year in jail. State could not prove intoxication by alcohol, and was prepared to proceed on loss of use by marijuana. After challenging the State to prove that marijuana was ingested at or near time of driving, and that marijuana impaired client’s driving, the State dismissed the case on the day of trial.

    CHARGES DISMISSED

    DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE

    Driving facts involved a false claim by police that taillight was out. After challenging the reasonable suspicion for the traffic stop, the State was forced to dismiss the case when video did not match police report. Client has since expunged arrest, and has no criminal record.

    CHARGES DISMISSED

    DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE

    Client is a public school teacher and faced immediate termination upon conviction. The facts of the case were bad. State was unwilling to budge in negotiation, and matter was set for trial – the last shot at avoiding a conviction and preserving client’s livelihood. State was forced to dismiss on day of trial. Client has no criminal record, and has since expunged the DWI arrest.

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