Everyone makes mistakes from time to time. Unfortunately, for some in Texas, certain errors in judgment could result in criminal charges and the potential for lasting repercussions. However, through the process of deferred adjudication, people can take responsibility for their offenses without incurring the permanent implications of a conviction.

According to the Tarrant County Community Supervision and Corrections Department, upon pleading guilty or no contest to criminal charges, the court may see fit to place defendants on deferred adjudication. Through this action, there is no finding of guilt and a final conviction will not appear on people’s records.

A type of community supervision, or probation, deferred adjudication requires that people be monitored by the Community Supervision and Corrections Department for a specified term. During the term of the program, they must also adhere to a set of conditions laid out by the judge. For example, the court may stipulate that defendants check in regularly, refrain from drug use or excessive alcohol consumption, not travel out of the state, or avoid going certain places or having contact with certain people.

Once they successfully complete the deferred adjudication program, people’s cases are dismissed. Should they violate its terms, however, defendants may have their community supervision revoked, be found guilty of the original offense and be subject to the full weight of penalties for their offenses under the law.

According to the Texas Office of Court Administration, deferred adjudication may be ordered for defendants charged with most misdemeanor and felony offenses. However, this program is not a sentencing option for those charged with a misdemeanor or felony DWI, intoxication assault, intoxication manslaughter, repeat drug offenses with drug-free zone enhancements and repeat sex offenses.