Deferred Adjudication is a form of probation (community supervision) where the judge finds that there is enough evidence to find you guilty but instead “defers” the finding of guilt for a period of time. If you successfully complete the probation, the case is dismissed and you have no record of conviction. However, if the court finds that you violated the terms and conditions of probation, you could receive up to the maximum sentence. As an example, let’s say you are charged with a Third Degree Felony. The range of punishment is 2-10 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and a fine of up to $10,000. Under normal probation (often referred to as “straight probation”) you might be sentenced to three years in prison, probated for ten years. Under this scenario, if your probation were revoked, the maximum sentence you could receive would be three years. If, on the other hand, you received ten years deferred adjudication and your probation was revoked (adjudicated), you could receive up to the maximum sentence of ten years at the judge’s discretion. Some courts will defer all or part of the fine as well, meaning you would not have to pay as long as you successfully complete probation.
What Is “Deferred Adjudication”?