What is Deferred Disposition in Texas?

What is Deferred Disposition in Texas

Deferred Disposition is a type of suspended sentence that can result in dismissal of a Class C misdemeanor in Texas. Deferred Disposition can require several conditions such as a fine, community service, and classes. Successful completion of these conditions leads to a dismissal and, in certain circumstances, expunction of a Class C offense. Learn more.

  • Who is eligible for Deferred Disposition in Texas? Deferred Disposition is only available for Class C misdemeanors in Texas. However, certain misdemeanors are ineligible for Deferred Disposition, including Speeding in a Construction Zone with worker’s present, and moving traffic violations for drivers with a commercial designation (CDL). Learn more.
  • How does Deferred Disposition work in Texas? Judges have sole discretion to grant or deny Deferred Disposition in Texas.  If granted, the judge orders the required conditions and the length of the Deferred Disposition. If all conditions are completed, the case is dismissed at the end of the Deferred Disposition period.


Deferred Disposition is NOT a conviction in Texas. A judge granting Deferred Disposition defers any finding of guilt for up to 180 days and dismisses the charge upon successful completion. However, neglecting required Deferred Disposition conditions can result in a Class C misdemeanor conviction. 

  • Does Deferred Disposition show on driving record in Texas? Texas drivers who successfully complete Deferred Disposition will have their citation dismissed and not reported to their driving record. However, failure to comply with all conditions can result in a permanent conviction on a driving record.


Deferred Disposition is an effective way to resolve a Speeding violation in Texas. Deferred Disposition for Speeding typically requires a driver to pay a fine, refrain from further similar infractions, and complete a driver’s safety course in some cases. Drivers successfully completing all conditions will have their Speeding citation dismissed and not reported to their driving record.

  • Can you get a Speeding ticket dismissed in Texas? Speeding tickets are dismissed, dropped, and resolved without conviction every day in Texas courts.
  • How do you get a Speeding ticket dismissed in Texas? Deferred Disposition is the most straightforward way to dismiss a Speeding ticket in Texas. A Speeding ticket can also be dismissed if the officer does not appear for trial or does not recall the facts of the case.
  • How long does it take for a speeding ticket to get off your record in Texas? Speeding convictions do not fall off Texas driving records. However, insurance companies and the Texas Department of Public Safety only consider speeding convictions within the last 3 years. This means Texas drivers are only penalized for 3 years following a Speeding conviction.


Deferred Disposition is only available with Class C misdemeanors and does not involve community supervision reporting. Deferred Adjudication typically does require in person reporting with a county probation office. The biggest distinction is that expunction is an option following Deferred Disposition while most forms of Deferred Adjudication will only qualify for an order of nondisclosure. Learn more.

  • Is Deferred Disposition better than Defensive Driving in Texas? Resolving a citation through either Deferred Disposition or Defensive Driving will result in a dismissal. Defensive Driving typically involves lower fees, however the requirements may be more onerous. Drivers under 25 must take a Texas driver’s safety course under either option. Drivers older than 25 are not always required to take a driver’s safety course with Deferred Disposition.
  • Can I take Defensive Driving instead of paying a ticket in Texas? Resolving a citation through Defensive Driving still requires paying a fine, though the amount is typically lower than with a conviction or the fees associated with Deferred Disposition. A driver’s safety course is not always required with Deferred Disposition.
  • Will I have to pay Speeding citation if I take Defensive Driving? Yes, Defensive Driving still requires payment of a reduced fine in Texas. Defensive Driving also requires drivers to procure a copy of their driving record to provide to the court. Deferred Disposition, while often more costly, does not always require these additional steps.


Most Texas courts allow individuals to pay citations without having to personally appear in court. This is not recommended, however, as it will lead to a conviction and potentially drastic collateral consequences. Learn more.

  • Can you clean your driving record in Texas? Texans can clean their driving record through either Deferred Disposition or Defensive Driving, which both result in dismissals if completed successfully. Traffic citation convictions remain on Texas driving records, though insurance companies and DPS are only concerned with convictions in the previous 3 years.
  • Do suspended licenses show up on background checks? A suspended license will not show up on a general criminal background check, which primarily reports criminal arrests and convictions. However, a driving record search will reveal suspended driver’s licenses as well as all infractions leading to the suspension. Driving with a suspended license is a Class C misdemeanor in Texas. Learn more.


Deferred Disposition can last up to 180 days in Texas. A person on Deferred Disposition must complete all conditions and avoid similar violations during the deferral period. Failure to complete Deferred Disposition successfully can result in a permanent conviction.

  • How long can you go without paying a ticket in Texas? Neglecting tickets can lead to an arrest warrant, collections, and potential driver’s license holds. Individuals with citations should make contact with the court at least prior to the first scheduled date on the ticket if payment arrangements will be required.
  • What are Deferred Disposition requirements in Texas? Deferred Disposition requirements vary widely and can include a fine, community service hours, educational classes, educational essays, drug and alcohol testing, and even letters of apology in certain cases. Some offenses are ineligible for Deferred Disposition, including Speeding in a Construction Zone with workers present, and CDL moving traffic violations.
  • Is Deferred Disposition probation? Deferred Disposition is sometimes referred to as probation. While both are forms of suspended sentences, Deferred Disposition does not typically require personal reporting and supervision by county officials, which is standard with Probation.
  • Is Deferred Disposition worth it? Deferred Disposition is a powerful tool available to most Texans charged with Class C misdemeanors. Texans who are able to successfully comply with court-ordered conditions can effectively have their cases dismissed and, in certain cases, completely expunged. Learn more.


Trey Porter is a dynamic advocate, nationally recognized for his work in Criminal Defense. He has been voted by his peers as a best lawyer in the field of Criminal and DWI Defense every year since 2015. Recognized by SuperLawyers, Mr. Porter has also been distinguished as a Top 40 Under 40 Criminal Defense Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers Association. Mr. Porter holds a Superb rating from AVVO, where attorneys are rated based on skillful litigation, client satisfaction, peer endorsements, and positive results. Learn more.

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Read More Reviews





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.



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.



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.


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.



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.



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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