Pros and Cons of Deferred Adjudication in Texas
Many first-time offenders are offered deferred adjudication in Texas. Without thoroughly understanding the pros and cons of deferred adjudication, most readily—albeit hastily—accept the offer. Deferred adjudication may help you to avoid a conviction, but you should consider at what cost.
Pros and Cons of Deferred Adjudication
With deferred adjudication, the judge suspends the conviction and places the defendant on community supervision (i.e. probation). If the defendant successfully completes the term of supervision, the court will not convict him or her. But a conviction is merely a finding of guilt. Records of the original proceedings will still appear on the defendant’s criminal record unless it is sealed through an Order of Nondisclosure.
Certain defendants may be eligible to petition for an Order of Nondisclosure after completing deferred supervision. If the court grants the request, public agencies cannot disclose records of the deferred adjudication to the public. Please note that there are numerous restrictions that can complicate this process. The bottom line is, deferred adjudication can save you a conviction but will not keep your record free from certain parties being able to see the charge and its disposition.
Here is the list currently provided by the Texas Government Code 411.081(i) of agencies that can see non-disclosed criminal records.
- The State Board for Educator Certification;
- School Districts;
- Charter Schools;
- Private Schools;
- Regional education-service center;
- Commercial-transportation companies;
- Education shared-service arrangement companies;
- Texas Medical Board;
- Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired;
- Board of Law Examiners;
- State Bar of Texas;
- A District Court regarding petition for name change;
- Texas School for the deaf;
- Department of Family and Protective Services;
- Texas Youth Commission;
- Department of Assistive and Rehabilitation Services;
- Department of State Health Services;
- Local mental health services;
- Local mental retardation authorities;
- Community centers providing services to mentally ill or retarded persons;
- Texas Private Security Board;
- Municipal or volunteer fire departments;
- Texas Board of Nursing;
- Safe houses providing shelter to children in harmful situations;
- Public or non-profit hospital districts;
- Texas Juvenile Probation Commission;
- Securities Commissioner;
- Banking Commissioner;
- Savings and Mortgage Lending Commissioner;
- Consumer Credit Commissioner;
- Credit Union Commissioner;
- State Board of Public Accounting;
- Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation;
- Health and Human Services Commission;
- Department of Aging and Disability Services;
- Texas Education Agency;
- Guardianship Certification Board;
- County Clerks office in regards to appointment of a guardian;
- Department of Information Resources;
- Court Reporters Certification Board;
- Texas Department of Insurance;
- Teacher Retirement System of Texas.
Many defendants think deferred adjudication will be cheaper because they won’t have to go to jail, thus minimizing the impact on their employment. But it’s important to be aware of the costs of Texas probation. Probation comes at a significant cost to the offender, not just the State of Texas. The offender will be ordered to pay numerous fines and fees for supervisory costs, restitution and administrative penalties. Some of these costs are ongoing for the duration of the supervision and quickly add up. You might also face the costs of going to court if you were to violate your supervision or ask that the court terminate your supervision early.
The Risks of Deferred Adjudication in Texas
If you violate supervision, the judge could “adjudicate” you, meaning he or she would convict and sentence you.
To be successful in deferred adjudication, you must adhere to all the terms and conditions of your supervision for the duration, which can be arduous. Discuss these terms with a Texas criminal defense attorney.
Consider the Costs of Deferred Adjudication
Deferred adjudication is deceptively simple. Follow the rules for a specific period of time, and you’ll get a slap on the wrist but no conviction. In reality, those rules are incredibly strict and the proverbial slap on the wrist can be quite expensive. Sadly, the consequences of making a mistake could potentially be worse than a conviction without deferred adjudication. To some defendants, it may seem like a get out of jail free card. In reality, it is more like being put under close watch by the State, which places an undue burden on the offender. These pros and cons of deferred adjudication in Texas should give you a better idea of the consequences you may face so you can make an informed decision about how to handle your case.
If you’re facing criminal charges in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action so you can move on with your life. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email email@example.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.