Deferred Adjudication in Texas, (Community Supervision)

Often times  in Texas criminal law we use the term “Deferred Adjudication,” when what we really mean is “Community Supervision.”

Criminal defense lawyer in Houston, Tx (281) 853-8537.

You can find the relevant statute (linked & reprinted below) in the Code of Criminal Procedure.

Art. 42A.001. DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:

(1) “Community supervision” means the placement of a defendant by a court under a continuum of programs and sanctions, with conditions imposed by the court for a specified period during which:

(A) criminal proceedings are deferred without an adjudication of guilt; or

(B) a sentence of imprisonment or confinement, imprisonment and fine, or confinement and fine, is probated and the imposition of sentence is suspended in whole or in part.

(2) “Court” means a court of record having original criminal jurisdiction.

(3) “Electronic monitoring” includes voice tracking systems, position tracking systems, position location systems, biometric tracking systems, and any other electronic or telecommunications system that may be used to assist in the supervision of defendants under this chapter.

(4) “Supervision officer” means a person appointed or employed under Section 76.004, Government Code, to supervise defendants placed on community supervision.

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 770 (H.B. 2299), Sec. 1.01, eff. January 1, 2017.

To put it briefly, in certain situations, the judge may place the defendant in a special program, like anger management classes or something similar, for a specific period of time. The judge will also give the defendant certain requirements that must be met to fulfill the period of “Community Supervision.”

As long as the defendant meets all of the imposed requirements and attends the required programs, then the criminal trial will be “deferred,” i.e., held off without any determination of guilt, or the judge will not impose any sentence on the defendant.

Probation vs. Deferred Adjudication

Many legal experts describe deferred adjudication as a type of probation. Generally, if the probation (community supervision) is successfully completed, the case is usually dismissed. However, most will point out that the major difference between probation and deferred adjudication, is that there is no conviction of guilt when deferred adjudication is given, whereas probation is generally ordered after a guilty conviction.

One advantage of Community Supervision is that a defendant can file for a petition for non-disclosure after successful completion of a deferred probation. This can usually keep potential employers and landlords from finding out about the offense.

Talk to An Attorney

It is important to note that every legal situation is different and certain offenses may not qualify for Community Supervision / Deferred Adjudication. If you are facing criminal charges or would like to know more about deferred adjudication, then call our office for a free consultation at (281) 853-8537.

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