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.