What is Deferred Adjudication in Texas?

By Bo Kalabus
bo@kalabuslaw.com
Office: 972-562-7549
Collin County 24-Hour Jail Release 214-402-4364
www.kalabuslaw.com
www.rosenthalwadas.com

The greatest benefit deferred adjudication offers is that is NOT a conviction and you have to opportunity to seal your arrest record. A conviction on the other hand can never be sealed or removed from your record. You get convicted when you have either lost at trial, or agreed to a plea agreement where you plead guilty before the court and the judge found you guilty and sentenced you.

On many types of cases, you may be offered deferred adjudication (deferred adjudication is not available on DWI cases). What’s different with deferred adjudication is when you plead guilty the judge does not find you guilty, and as a result you are not formally convicted of the charged offense. Although you have not been convicted, the arrest will still appear on your record if you do nothing further.

In most misdemeanor cases, upon successful completion of the probation period, you can move to have the arrest sealed from the general public by filing a petition for non-disclosure. For felonies, you have to wait for 5 years before you move for a non-disclosure. Once the petition is granted, the arrest will be sealed. However, if you have a professional license of some sort, you will not be able to seal the record from those types of employers during background checks.

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