If you’re facing criminal charges for the first time in Texas, you probably have a lot on your mind. Will you be sent to jail or prison? Will you have to pay thousands in fines? Will your case go to trial? Will you enter into a plea bargain? What will happen to your job, your loved ones and your future if you’re found guilty?
Similar to Arizona and Florida, Texas is well-known for having some of the harshest sentencing and fines in the nation, making it one of the last states you want to be facing criminal charges in. In light of this fact, it would be favorable for you to do whatever you can do to reduce the consequences that you’re presently up against. Deferred adjudication may be exactly what you need.
What is Deferred Adjudication?
In Texas, deferred adjudication is a type of community supervision that is ordered by a judge. It’s also known as “probation” and through it, the defendant accepts responsibility for committing a crime; however, a conviction is not put on the defendant’s record. “What if the jury sympathizes with my situation? Can they grant me deferred adjudication?”
No, a jury cannot grant you deferred adjudication. This is because only judges have the power and authority to do it. In order for this to happen, the defendant and the prosecutor must reach an agreement to waive a jury trial.
Who is eligible for deferred adjudication?
- Any defendants who have been charged with a misdemeanor offense, with the exception of driving, boating or flying while intoxicated.
- Any defendant who has been charged with a felony offense except: DWI, intoxication assault, intoxication manslaughter, a repeat drug offense that occurred in a “drug-free zone,” or a repeat sex offense (sexual assault or aggravated sexual assault or indecency with a child).
Should you consider deferred adjudication? It all depends on the facts of your case, namely your guilt or innocence and the strength of the state’s case against you. If you truly did make a mistake and the state has overwhelming evidence against you, deferred adjudication may be an excellent alternative over traditional prosecution.