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Should I Take Deferred Adjudication Instead of Trial?

Texas law allows for those brought up on trial for drug crimes to remain in the community instead of going to jail or prison through state-deferred adjudication. The length of time the accused will be asked to remain on deferred adjudication depends on the type of crime that was committed. By the end of their term, they will not receive a conviction for the crime.

Why Deferred Adjudication is a Good Option

Deferred adjudication is often offered to first-time offenders who have pled guilty or no contest, but do not seem likely to repeat their crime again. If they successfully complete all the requirements for their deferred adjudication, they will avoid a criminal conviction.

There are two major benefits to a deferred adjudication:

  1. It avoids many of the penalties that come with a criminal conviction, such as a driver's license suspension; and
  2. A petition of non-disclosure can be filed following successful completion of the program that can prevent employers, schools, landlords, and others from finding out about the charge.

For a misdemeanor crime, a judge can order up to two years of deferred adjudication. A felony crime may carry up to 10 years. This will involve supervision by the court where the accused may be asked to submit to drug and alcohol tests, remain employed, and participate in community service. In some cases, reduced jail time may be ordered to accompany the other penalties.

When a case goes to trial, it loses the capacity to be eligible for deferred adjudication. Working with a drug defense attorney can help determine if appealing to the judge for this punishment is a good alternative for their situation. Should the terms of the deferred adjudication be broken, the judge can immediately find the accused guilty and sentence them to jail time.

For those that find deferred adjudication to be an option and feel they can successfully complete the terms of this punishment, it is a great way to prevent a criminal charge from staying on your record. If you are wondering if you may be eligible for a deferred adjudication, call the defense attorneys at Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC. We can answer any questions you have and defend you against charges leveled against you.

Categories: Drug Offenses