Deferred adjudication is a program that prosecutors offer to qualifying individuals who are charged with a crime; usually, these individuals are first-time offenders. This program is a form of community supervision, or probation, which essentially allows individuals to stay in the community under court supervision instead of going to jail. In some cases, however, individuals will have to serve a short jail sentence as a condition of being placed on community supervision.
The court will determine the exact conditions of community supervision in each case, and supervision may last for a number of years, depending on the severity of the charges and whether the offense is a misdemeanor or a felony. In most cases, community supervision will require you to complete a certain number of community service hours, maintain employment, and submit to random drug tests.
At the end of your term of community supervision under a deferred adjudication program, you are released from supervision without a criminal conviction on your record, which is a big advantage. However, even though your criminal charges have been dismissed, deferred adjudication does not erase the actual records of the criminal offense with which you were charged. You would have to file a petition of non-disclosure to have the records sealed from public view. However, sealing of records is not available for some offenses, and other offenses require a significant waiting period before the records can be sealed. As a result, even if you are successful in obtaining deferred adjudication, you still could experience some collateral consequences from the criminal charges, such as negative impacts on your ability to hold some jobs and get credit in some circumstances.
If you find yourself charged with any type of criminal offense, you need legal advice that only experienced Texas criminal defense attorneys can offer you. As a result, you should immediately contact a skilled defense lawyer for help if you have been accused of a criminal offense. Peek & Toland provides strong legal representation on a regular basis for individuals who are charged with various crimes. It is our priority is to represent your interests and protect your rights. Call us at (512) 474-4445 and schedule an appointment to speak with us today.