By Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal
Deferred adjudication is where you plead guilty but the judge does not actually find you guilty. Instead they defer that finding while you are placed on probation.
Deferred adjudication is available on many criminal charges in Texas but not all. Most people are familiar with deferred for traffic tickets but the truth is the concept is far more expansive.
Virtually every offense in Texas is legally subject to deferred with the exception to DWI offenses, (Tex.Pen.C. 49.04 – 49.08), capital offenses, certain sex offenses, and certain repeat offenses (typically sex offenses or selling drugs in drug free zones). Texas Code of Criminal Procedure section 42.12 Section 5 governs deferred and it’s availability.
As with which cases a person may receive community supervision, in certain situations for deferred, the statutory scheme gets tricky and you should consult an attorney if you have any questions.
I have discussed in previous blawgs the other pros and cons of deferred here, and here. Never assume that by pleading guilty (or nolo contendere) and getting deferred that your criminal record will be unharmed or will undo itself.
*Jeremy Rosenthal is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and licensed by the Supreme Court of Texas. Nothing in this article should be considered leal advice. For legal advise specific to your situation you should directly consult an attorney.