The phrase deferred adjudication relates to judge-ordered community supervision (more commonly known as probation) that allows alleged offenders to accept responsibility for their criminal offenses without convictions being placed on their criminal records. Judges are the only parties who can grant deferred adjudication (not a jury), so prosecutors and alleged offenders must agree to waive jury trials, and any person seeking deferred adjudication for a driving while intoxicated (DWI) offense needs to be working with a Fort Worth deferred adjudication attorney.

While some people mistakenly believe successfully completing deferred adjudication results in criminal charges being removed from a criminal record, deferred adjudication will not disappear after terms are successfully completed. You still must file a motion for nondisclosure to seal your criminal record, and not every offense is eligible for nondisclosure. 

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Deferred Adjudication Defense Lawyer in Fort Worth, Arlington, Grapevine, Keller, and Southlake, TX

If you were arrested for DWI, contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today at (817) 422-5350 for a consultation about your alleged offense in Southlake, Fort Worth, Arlington, Grapevine, Keller, and surrounding areas of Tarrant County, TX area. Having a criminal defense attorney will go a long way in helping you get the outcome you desire.

The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy have helped scores of alleged offenders in DWI cases avoid jail or prison time, and we will know how to fight your charges so you can have the best possible chance of achieving the most favorable outcome for your case. Contact us online for a consultation that will allow us to review all of the facts of your case and discuss what you might be able to argue in court.

Deferred Adjudication Laws in Texas 

Deferred adjudication community supervision is discussed in Subchapter C of Chapter 42A of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. Under Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 42A.101(a), a judge can, upon receiving a guilty or nolo contendere (no contest) plea, hearing evidence, and finding it substantiates guilt, defer any further proceedings without entering an adjudication of guilt and place the alleged offender on deferred adjudication community supervision when it is in a judge’s opinion the best interest of society and an alleged offender will be served.

Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 42A.101(b) is the state law establishing that a judge must inform an alleged offender orally or in writing of the consequences for a violation of any condition of deferred adjudication after placing an alleged offender on deferred adjudication community supervision. Under Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 42A.102, a judge cannot place an alleged offender on deferred adjudication community supervision if they are charged with DWI with a child passenger, intoxication assault, intoxication manslaughter, flying while intoxicated, or assembling or operating an amusement ride while intoxicated.

An alleged offender will also be ineligible for deferred adjudication when they are charged with DWI or boating while intoxicated and, at the time of their offense, held a commercial driver’s license (CDL) or a commercial learner’s permit, or had an alcohol concentration of 0.15 or more. Deferred adjudication also does not apply to enhanced DWI offenses.

Deferred adjudication community supervision cannot exceed 10 years in felony cases under Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 42A.103. For misdemeanor cases, deferred adjudication community supervision cannot exceed two years.

If an alleged offender fails to pay a previously assessed fine, cost, or restitution, and a judge determines that extending the supervision period increases the likelihood that an alleged offender will fully pay the fine, cost, or restitution, a judge can extend the maximum period of deferred adjudication community supervision in the manner provided by Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 42A.753. Under Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 42A.108, an alleged offender can be arrested and detained for a violation of a condition of deferred adjudication community supervision.

An alleged offender will be entitled to a hearing limited to a determination by the court of whether it will proceed with an adjudication of guilt on the original charge. A court cannot proceed with an adjudication of guilt on the original charge if it finds that the only evidence supporting an alleged violation of a condition of deferred adjudication community supervision is uncorroborated results of a polygraph examination. 

Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 42A.111 establishes that a judge must dismiss proceedings against an alleged offender and discharge them upon expiration of a period of deferred adjudication community supervision if the judge has not proceeded to an adjudication of guilt. A judge can dismiss the proceedings and discharge an alleged offender before the expiration of deferred adjudication community supervision period if, in the judge’s opinion, the best interest of society and the alleged offender will be served, except that the judge cannot dismiss the proceedings and discharge an alleged offender charged with an offense requiring them to register as a sex offender.

A dismissal and discharge will not be considered a conviction for the purposes of disqualifications or disabilities imposed by law for conviction of a criminal offense. An offense for which the alleged offender received a dismissal and discharge cannot be used as a reason for denying the issuance of a professional or occupational license or certificate to or either suspending or revoking the professional or occupational license or certificate of a person otherwise entitled to or qualified for the license or certificate.

For any alleged offender who receives a dismissal and discharge:

  • on conviction for a subsequent offense, the fact that the alleged offender previously received deferred adjudication community supervision will be admissible before the court or jury for consideration on the issue of penalty
  • if an alleged offender is an applicant for or the holder of a license under Chapter 42 of the Texas Human Resources Code, the Department of Family and Protective Services can consider the fact that the alleged offender previously received deferred adjudication community supervision in issuing, renewing, denying, or revoking a license
  • if an alleged offender is an applicant for or the holder of a license to provide mental health or medical services for the rehabilitation of sex offenders, the Council on Sex Offender Treatment can consider the fact that the alleged offender previously received deferred adjudication community supervision in issuing, renewing, denying, or revoking a license issued by that council
  • if an alleged offender is an applicant for or the holder of a professional or occupational license or certificate, the licensing agency can consider the fact that the alleged offender previously received deferred adjudication in issuing, renewing, denying, or revoking a license or certificate if the alleged offender was placed on deferred adjudication community supervision for an offense listed in Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 42A.054(a), described by Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 62.001(5) or (6), committed under Chapter 21 or 43 of the Texas Penal Code, or related to the activity or conduct for which the person seeks or holds the license

A judge who dismisses proceedings against an alleged offender and discharges them must provide the alleged offender with a copy of the order of dismissal and discharge and, if the judge determines that the alleged offender is or may become eligible for an order of nondisclosure of criminal history record information, must, as applicable, grant an order of nondisclosure of criminal history record information to the defendant, inform the alleged offender of their eligibility to receive an order of nondisclosure of criminal history record information without a petition and the earliest date for which they will be eligible to receive the order, or inform the alleged offender of their eligibility to petition the court for an order of nondisclosure of criminal history record information and the earliest date they will be eligible to file the petition for the order.

Conditions of Deferred Adjudication for DWI Offenses in Tarrant County

Mandatory penalties in DWI cases often include drug testing and installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) on all vehicles owned or operated by an alleged offender. The state law mandating IIDs for alleged offenders in DWI cases is found in Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 42A.408 and it was largely the result of a push by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

The length of time a person must maintain an IID is determined by a judge. While early removal of an IID could be possible, it is usually unlikely. 

Should a person fail an IID test, the failure does not result in a new criminal charge but can be reported to the judge and may result in additional disciplinary measures. The state could also file a motion to revoke probation (MTR) if you violate any term or condition of your probation. 

Commonly filed MTRs often relate to failed drug tests, negative IID results, or failures to report for probation. An MTR could result in convictions, jail time, and other lifelong consequences. 

Tarrant County Deferred Adjudication Resources

Ford v. State, 158 S.W.3d 488 (Tex. Crim. App. 2005) — Texas State Trooper Andrew Peavy pulled Matthew Ford’s motor vehicle over for following another car too closely on United States Route 290 outside of Houston in violation of Texas Transportation Code § 545.062(a). Upon Ford lowering his passenger-side window, Peavy noticed a strong odor of marijuana, and after Peavy could not determine the source of the marijuana odor, he requested the assistance of a canine unit that revealed 55 grams of marijuana in the car’s console. After concluding that the traffic stop was supported by reasonable suspicion, a trial judge denied Ford’s motion to suppress and he pleaded guilty to a reduced second-degree felony possession of a controlled substance charge resulting in deferred adjudication and probation for nine years with a $500 fine although Ford appealed the trial court’s denial of his motion. The Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas held that the trial court erred in denying Ford’s motion to suppress, reversing the judgment of the court of appeals and remanding the case to the trial court so that Ford could answer the charges in the indictment.

Ex Parte Seidel, 39 S.W.3d 221 (Tex. Crim. App. 2001) — On August, 17, 1997, Charles E. Seidel, Jr. was arrested for felony DWI and was released on a felony bond. On December 7, 1997, the District Attorney’s Office rejected the case, never filing an indictment or an information in district court, and on April 16, 1998, Seidel filed a writ of habeas corpus asserting that because the state delayed in obtaining an indictment, the prosecution and bail should be discharged which district court granted on the merits. The Guadalupe County Attorney’s Office filed a complaint and information against Seidel in county court, charging him with misdemeanor DWI, but Seidel filed a Special Plea of Collateral Estoppel, alleging that the County Attorney’s Office was barred from prosecuting the misdemeanor DWI because “the facts necessary to prove the case … are the exact same facts and elements which have resulted in a judgment which was terminated by a final order or judgment for the defendant that has not been reversed, set aside or vacated.” The county court granted Seidel’s application, stating that because the prosecution was dismissed with prejudice, the state would not be permitted to file a lesser charge stemming from the same transaction. The Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas stated that the court of appeals erred in failing to recognize that because the district court judge purported to dismiss the prosecution “with prejudice” beyond the scope of its proper authority, that part of the judgment was void, and the judgment of the court of appeals was reversed with the cause remanded to that court for proceedings consistent with this opinion.

Find A Tarrant County Defense Attorney for Deferred Adjudication | Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy

Were you arrested for DWI in Tarrant County and now need deferred adjudication? You will want to be sure you are working with an experienced criminal defense lawyer. The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy has been handling DWI cases all over Texas for decades and knows how to help people achieve favorable outcomes in these cases. Contact our firm today at (817) 422-5350 for a consultation about your alleged offense in Southlake, Fort Worth, Arlington, Grapevine, Keller, and surrounding areas of Tarrant County, TX area.

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