10 Things to Know About Deferred Adjudication

By Allen, Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer Kyle T. Therrian
Office Number: (972) 562-7549
24 Hr Jail Release: (214) 403-6522


Many people have a generic understanding of what deferred adjudication is. Perhaps because many of us have received something similar to deferred adjudication on a speeding ticket or some other petty offense, we know we can plead guilty to an offense without being convicted. When charged with a more serious offense, a generic understanding is not enough. Here are the 10 important facts about deferred adjudication.

  1. Deferred adjudication is a form of probation where there is no finding of guilt and no criminal conviction.
  2. After successful completion of a deferred adjudication probation period, the case will be automatically dismissed.
  3. A case dismissed in this fashion will still reflect an arrest and guilty plea on a criminal history background check.
  4. After a case is dismissed by deferred adjudication, a person can request that the record be sealed with a nondisclosure order.
  5. A nondisclosure order does not happen automatically – you must petition the court.
  6. A nondisclosure is less potent than an expunction. A nondisclosure prevents the general public and employers from seeing the record; but generally, not the government.
  7. Our legislature has created several nondisclosure booby traps by making a laundry list of offenses that are eligible for deferred adjudication but that are ineligible for a nondisclosure.
  8. The most common offense on this list is any case in which the State has alleged family violence.
  9. An allegation of family violence can be abandoned by the State when offering deferred adjudication.
  10. There is no right to deferred adjudication, deferred adjudication is always the result of the proper combination of negotiation, advocacy and an understanding of the law.

*Kyle Therrian is an attorney licensed to practice in the State of Texas. Nothing in this article is intended to be legal advice. For legal advice on any case you should contact an attorney directly.

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