Deferred Adjudication

Having a criminal record can limit your life in a lot of ways. A viable option for some misdemeanants is a type of probation referred to as deferred adjudication. If your adjudication is deferred, then you won’t have a criminal conviction on your record. Instead your plea will be deferred and the only mark on your record is an arrest.

It’s a common myth that if you have deferred adjudication your charges will be erased. Some government and licensing agencies will still have access to your charges. The only way to truly seal your charges is to file for non-disclosure.

However, a deferred adjudication is much better than a conviction. You will need to simply complete the terms and conditions of the program to adjudicate your guilt. In addition, these conditions are much less rigorous than standard probation. Once you have completed the program the judge will totally dismiss your charges.

If you’re a first-time offender with misdemeanor charges, you may qualify for deferred adjudication.

Attorney for Deferred Adjudication in Houston, Texas

The impact of a criminal conviction is stressful beyond bars. It’s common for future employers or licensing agencies to avoid accepting people with criminal backgrounds. They can also regularly check if you have a criminal record through the public record. Don’t let one event dictate your whole future. Contact the attorneys at [firm] today.

Our attorneys can assess your charges to see if you qualify for deferred adjudication. We can also file motions, collect evidence and create a strong defense for your case. Stay ahead of your charges today by contacting the attorneys at [firm]. Call us now at [phone] for a case consultation today.

[firm] accepts clients throughout the greater Houston metropolitan area including Tomball, Bellaire, West University Place and Pasadena.

Overview of Deferred Adjudication in Texas

What is Deferred Adjudication in Texas?

Deferred adjudication is a special type of “community supervision,” otherwise known as probation. A standard community supervision order requires a plea of guilty or no contest. A deferred adjudication also requires a plea, but your guilt is adjudicated.

When your guilt is adjudicated, it means you won’t have a final conviction on your record. You must complete the terms and conditions of the program, however, to do this. Typically, the terms for deferred adjudication are lighter in comparison. The judge could require you to undergo drug screenings, attend rehabilitate classes or perform community service.

Similar to probation, you must successfully complete the program to reap its benefits. If you finish without violating any of the terms of your deferred adjudication, then the judge can dismiss your charges. You can even expunge your charges completely after a certain amount of time has passed.

Back to top

What is the Difference Between Probation and Deferred Adjudication?

Deferred adjudication and probation function similarly with different outcomes. Both require a plea of guilty or no contest, but the effects of probation are much more devastating. A probation will result in a final conviction. The judge will accept the plea and instead “probate” your sentence. This means you can complete your community supervision instead of jail.

Probation is the obvious choice over jail or prison. However, it does come with some cost. Employers and licensing agencies will still be able to access your record through a background check. You also cannot file a petition for expunction. This means you will never be eligible to have your record erased completely.

Deferred adjudication requires a plea, but also automatically adjudicates guilt. This means the judge won’t accept it. You will instead be required to fulfill the terms and conditions of your deferred adjudication. The judge will dismiss your charges after you complete the program.

The best part about deferred adjudication is that you can file for non-disclosure. You must qualify and file a petition of non-disclosure with the court. If you have waited and the order is granted, then you’ll be able to seal your records completely.

Back to top

How Long is Deferred Adjudication?

Texas has established laws for the duration of a deferred adjudication term. Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 42A.103 states the maximum term for deferred adjudication is:

  • Up to 2 years for a misdemeanor case; and
  • Up to 10 years for a felony case.

Back to top

Penalties for Violating Deferred Adjudication

A violation of your deferred adjudication can result in serious penalties. A judge can choose to adjudicate your guilt, which means you’ll be facing the full statutory penalties again. Depending on the crime, this could include expensive fines and even possible jail or prison time.

Thankfully, you can contest this by filing for a hearing. You can hire quality legal representation and contest your violation at the hearing. A practiced attorney can collect evidence and use their extensive resources to prove the violation didn’t exist or was necessary.

Back to top

Additional Resources

Deferred Adjudication – Visit the official website of the Texas courts to find more information surrounding deferred adjudication, orders of non-disclosure and expunction. Learn how each legal process functions, it’s purpose and how to qualify.

Texas Probation Laws – Visit the official website of Texas Code of Criminal Procedure to learn more about community supervision. Access the statutes to find more information surrounding community supervision guidelines, what happens if you violate probation and conditions for standard community supervision.

Lawyer for Deferred Adjudication in Houston, Texas

If you or someone you know may qualify for deferred adjudication, it’s imperative you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. An attorney can evaluate your case to see if you’re eligible for deferred adjudication. They can also advocate deferred adjudication for you if the District Attorney hasn’t offered it.

There’s no reason a nonviolent first offender should be saddled with a criminal conviction. Find an answer today with [firm]. Our attorneys at [firm] have negotiated deferred adjudication for many clients. We can assess your charges to uncover all your legal options. Get your life back with the attorneys at [firm].

Call us at [phone] to schedule a case evaluation. [firm] defends clients throughout the greater Harris County area including Houston, Pasadena, West University Place and Bellaire.

This article was last updated on March 8th, 2019.


Use the form to submit your request for a free consultation.

*Use of this form does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.

Driving While Intoxicated (Blood Draw .16)
Client had bond forfeited while case was pending for not being able to attend trial when Judge ordered us to be there due to his teaching job at Texas A&M University. When he more
Read More Case Results
Tyler Flood & Associates
2019 Washington Ave. #300
Houston, TX 77007
(713) 224-5529
Get Directions to Our Office


Robert Henderson
Robert Henderson
December 22, 2023.
I want to give a special thanks to Tyler Flood & Associates. Getting charged with a dwi was the worst feeling and situation I've been in, but the professionalism and confidence that Tyler Fllod & Associates showed throughout my case definitely helped me get some sleep at night. Then when they called and let me know that my case was dismissed and all charges dropped was incredible. Once again, thanks to Tyler Flood & Associates.
Zeta Ze
Zeta Ze
December 15, 2023.
Houston DWI/DUI Tyler Flood is the best lawyer to represent you in a DWI/DUI case. Mr. Flood saved my license from being suspended in a non-refusal weekend. In a case, where I feel I did everything wrong and had 0 chance, in my opinion, for a dismissal, my only hope and chance was to hire Mr. Flood and his firm. Having had previous experience with Mr. Flood's firm, I felt that if I had any percentage chance of a dismissal, I had to go with Mr. Flood again. As I am writing this review, I'm still in shock and awe in how Mr. Flood was able to get a dismissal before trial completely started. Mr. Flood knew the law better than the arresting officer and Prosecutors. Even the judge was impressed and paid him a compliment after the dismissal. In my opinion, if you want a fighting chance, hire Mr. Flood and his firm. Mr. Flood genuinely cares about all his clients and does not merely see you as a customer. He and his team are always working on your case. Trust his process. They are absolutely the BEST.
briana Munoz
briana Munoz
December 5, 2023.
Thanks to Tyler Flood I am able to continue my life, him and his partners were amazing in guiding me throughout this hard process. Tyler and his team got me a CASE DISMISSED on my DWI case. His team kept in contact with me on every small detail about my case while being able to thoroughly explain every possibility for me. I also never had to step foot in a courtroom! Him and his team had my back every step of the way and never made me feel like it was not going to be okay. Tyler flood is the BEST DWI/DUI attorney no doubt, please consider letting him take your case if you are ever in need of an amazing lawyer.
October 19, 2023.
When I found myself in a precarious situation and didn’t know where or who to turn to I was recommended to Tyler Flood and Associates. After researching and reading many reviews I decided to hire and retain Flood and Associates services. This was one of the best decisions I made in my life, not only were they there for me in every dim moment and never too busy to answer every question I had whether it was frivolous or not, his expertise was demonstrated to me during my trial. So much so that two other defendants asked for his name and number during my trial. He fought tooth-and-nail for me and he will for you too. I’m only rating him five stars because I can’t rate him any higher. I’ll thank him for the rest of my life.
October 12, 2023.
Houston DWI/DUI Attorney Tyler Flood is the best in the business! Tyler and his team made the entire process stress free for what is a very stressful situation. From winning the first administrative hearing (to retain my license/avoid a breathalyzer) to getting the dismissal before trial even started. He is truly the best in the business!
Cesar Ricardez
Cesar Ricardez
October 3, 2023.
I hired Tyler Flood the day after my DUI arrest after reading glowing reviews about him and I couldn’t be happier that I did so. He took care of both my cases to keep my driving rights and the misdemeanor DUI charge in court. I never even had to appear in court or do anything, him and his team took care of anything while I carried on with my life and would just get updates whenever they appeared in court on my behalf. At the end, my driver license was never suspended and they got my case dismissed. Lesson learned, I don’t wish anyone to get in my situation but if you do, don’t hesitate to hire Tyler Flood and his team, they are extremely professional and they go for the win. No deal, no probation, got it all dismissed.
September 14, 2023.
Tyler Flood, Houston DWI/DUI attorney is fantastic! He is professional, smart and takes pride in getting the best possible outcome for you. This was my second DWI and I didn't want to take chances. I found him on Google and I too was in disbelief with all the 5.0 star reviews. Upon meeting him I quickly discovered it was all true. A lawyer with his own science lab WTH??????? Long story short he got my case dismissed without going to court. You can not put a price on freedom. The only downside is I only hope to need his services this one time. 😀 Thanks again Mr. Flood God bless.
John Sellers
John Sellers
August 31, 2023.
Houston DUI/DWI attorney Tyler Flood is the guy to go to!! I started my journey with these guys on August 4th of this year, my case was dismissed before the end of the month!! Well worth it!! They are organized and efficient, kept me informed of what was going on and answered all my questions. I have shared with my friends and definitely recommend to anyone.
August 29, 2023.
Houston DUI/DWI attorney Tyler Flood is an outstanding attorney and person. If you are in need of a lawyer who understands the panic and sheer fear a family feels when this happens in their lives,Tyler Flood is the attorney for you. He has an outstanding educational background, his office includes an on-site, state-of-the-arts laboratory, and he is surrounded with a legal team to provide background and research data for him to be successful in representing you. He is a One-of-Kind, highly accomplished attorney that will promptly respond to you throughout the duration of your case. Seriously, this guy NEVER sleeps! Tyler Flood understands the importance of a person’s reputation and the seriousness of a DUI/DWI charge. If you choose to work with him, he will work with you to be successful! Tyler Flood is AWESOME!
Trey Perrett
Trey Perrett
August 14, 2023.
Words cannot express what a dominating lawyer Tyler Flood and his team are. I ran into some trouble in 2021 and I was just getting my family, career ,and life together. I was completely scared of what the repercussions could be for the rest of my life. I asked civil layers who they recommend and repeatedly Tyler Flood’s name was given to me. At my first appointment, I was overcome with anxiety of what will happen next. Tyler put me at ease immediately. He believed I had a case. They were great on response time and helping me navigate the often confusing legal system. It’s a long process to have a case brought to trial but I knew I had an amazing lawyer and his team in my corner. Finally, I received the call that my case was dismissed, and I was cleared of all charges. I could not be happier with the way he and his colleagues handled my case and brought home the W. I strongly recommend having Tyler Flood in your corner because he delivers.
Disclaimer: The information on this website does NOT constitute legal advice. If you need legal advice, then retain an attorney to discuss the facts of your case. If you would like to discuss your case with an attorney at Tyler Flood & Associates, Inc., then please contact us to schedule a consultation. Until we specifically agree to act for you on a matter, you should not provide us with any confidential information or material.
Copyright © 2024 Tyler Flood & Associates, Inc.
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram