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About Deferred Adjudication in Texas


Getting convicted in Texas is punishable by serious criminal penalties, such as expensive fines worth thousands of dollars or more and even a jail or prison sentence. If the chances of obtaining a not-guilty verdict are slim in your case, it is still possible to keep the conviction off your criminal record by being placed on “deferred adjudication” probation. 

Deferred adjudication is a special type of community supervision that allows defendants to accept responsibility for a criminal offense – either by pleading “guilty” or “no contest” – without the judge entering a finding. If you successfully complete the terms and conditions of your probation, the case will ultimately be dismissed, and you will be eligible for record sealing. 

On the other hand, if you violate your probation while you are on deferred adjudication, the judge can revoke the probation and ensure you serve the remainder of your sentence behind bars. The sentence of incarceration can be within the range of punishment for your alleged crime. 

Deferred adjudication is generally available for first-time offenders. Any defendant charged with a misdemeanor offense – besides driving while intoxicated (DWI), boating while intoxicated (BWI), and flying while intoxicated – is eligible for this type of probation. 

All felony offenses are eligible for deferred adjudication in Texas except for the following: 

  • DWI, BWI and flying while intoxicated 

  • Intoxication assault 

  • Intoxication manslaughter 

  • A repeat sex crime 

  • A repeat drug offense that involves a drug-free zone 

After successfully completing deferred adjudication, you may have to wait a certain period of time before seeking an order of nondisclosure. While most misdemeanors have no waiting period, defendants charged with misdemeanors involving violent crimes, domestic violence, sex crimes, weapons crimes, disorderly conduct, and unlawful restraint must wait at least two years before getting their record sealed. Defendants charged with a felony must wait at least five years. 

If you or a loved one has been arrested in Fort Worth, contact The Alband Law Firm today at (817) 997-4366 today for a free consultation.