Deferred adjudication is a phrase that relates to judge-ordered community supervision (otherwise known as probation) allowing an alleged offender to accept responsibility for their criminal offense without a conviction being placed on their criminal record. A judge is the only party who can grant deferred adjudication (not a jury), meaning that prosecutors and alleged offenders must agree to waive jury trials, and a person who needs deferred adjudication for a driving while intoxicated (DWI) offense will want to hire a Plano deferred adjudication attorney.
Several people mistakenly believe successfully completing deferred adjudication means criminal charges are removed from a criminal record, but that is not the case because deferred adjudication does not disappear when the terms of probation are successfully completed. A person still needs to file a motion for nondisclosure to seal their criminal record, and not all offenses are eligible for nondisclosure.
Deferred Adjudication Defense Lawyer in Plano, Allen, Frisco, and McKinney, TX
Were recently arrested for a DWI? Contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today at (469) 304-3422 for a consultation about your alleged offense in Plano, Allen, Frisco, McKinney, TX, and surrounding areas of Collin County, Texas. You will give yourself the best chance of a favorable outcome by working with a skilled criminal defense attorney.
The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy knows how to help people avoid the most severe penalties in DWI cases, so you can count on us to work to help you avoid the most consequential penalties.
Deferred Adjudication Laws in Texas
Subchapter C of Chapter 42A of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure is the state law discussing deferred adjudication community supervision. Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 42A.101(a) states that 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.
Under Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 42A.101(b), a judge has to 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. Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 42A.102 is the state law establishing that a judge cannot place an alleged offender on deferred adjudication community supervision when 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.
Alleged offenders are also 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 will not be available for enhanced DWI offenses.
Under Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 42A.103, deferred adjudication community supervision cannot exceed 10 years in felony cases. It cannot exceed two years for misdemeanor cases.
When an alleged offender does not pay a 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, the judge can extend the maximum period of deferred adjudication community supervision in the manner provided by Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 42A.753. Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 42A.108 states that an alleged offender may be arrested and detained for a violation of a condition of deferred adjudication community supervision.
Alleged offenders are entitled to hearings limited to determinations by courts of whether they will proceed with adjudication of guilt on original charges. Courts cannot proceed with adjudication of guilt on the original charge when they find that the only evidence supporting an alleged violation of a condition of deferred adjudication community supervision is uncorroborated results of a polygraph examination.
Under Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 42A.111, a judge has to dismiss proceedings against an alleged offender and discharge them upon expiration of a period of deferred adjudication community supervision if they have not proceeded to an adjudication of guilt. A judge may dismiss 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 they cannot dismiss the proceedings and discharge an alleged offender charged with an offense requiring them to register as a sex offender.
Dismissals and discharges cannot be considered convictions for the purposes of disqualifications or disabilities imposed by law for conviction of a criminal offense. The offense for which an 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.
As it relates to an 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
Judges who dismiss proceedings against alleged offenders and discharge them must provide alleged offenders with copies of the orders of dismissal and discharges and, when the judge determines that an 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 alleged offender, 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
Common types of mandatory penalties in DWI cases usually include drug testing and installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) on all vehicles owned or operated by an alleged offender. Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 42A.408 is the state law mandating IIDs for alleged offenders in DWI cases and was largely the result of an aggressive push from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
How long a person needs to maintain an IID will be determined by a judge. Early removal of an IID might technically be a possibility but is usually rare.
Failing an IID test does not result in a new criminal charge, but it can be reported to a judge and could also result in other disciplinary measures. The state might also file a motion to revoke probation (MTR) if you violate any term or condition of your probation.
MTRs most commonly relate to failed drug tests, negative IID results, or failures to report for probation. An MTR may result in convictions, jail time, and other lifelong consequences.
Collin County Deferred Adjudication Resources
State v. Stevens, 235 S.W.3d 736 (Tex. Crim. App. 2007) — Cory A. Stevens was arrested for DWI while he was on deferred adjudication for involuntary manslaughter. The state of Texas filed a motion to adjudicate guilt, and the trial court in his DWI case granted a motion to suppress all of the evidence collected during his arrest, with that case being dismissed. The trial court hearing the motion to adjudicate guilt subsequently granted a motion to suppress all evidence of the DWI offense based on collateral estoppel. The state appealed, but the Court of Appeals affirmed. The Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas found that the Court of Appeals erred by applying a deferential standard to the Brazoria County trial court’s ruling because a de novo review of the trial court’s decision to apply collateral estoppel would have been appropriate, and it reversed and remanded the case to the Court of Appeals for reconsideration.
Ex Parte Harrington, 310 S.W.3d 452 (Tex. Crim. App. 2010) — In February 2006, Alan Eugene Harrington was arrested in Bastrop County for DWI and was indicted for felony DWI, with the indictment listing two prior DWI convictions reflected in his criminal-history report for the purpose of enhancement: the first was in Austin County in 1986 and the second was in Travis County in 2003. Upon the advice of his attorney, Harrington pleaded guilty to the felony DWI and received probation, which was later revoked, and he was ultimately sentenced to two years in prison and a $2,500 fine. Before entering his guilty plea, Harrington told his attorney that the 1986 conviction did not belong to him and was mistakenly listed on his report because the conviction actually belonged to Jesse Armistead, a man who had been dating Harrington’s sister and had stolen his driver’s license. The Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas ruled that because the trial judge found that Harrington suffered collateral consequences, he had established that he was confined under Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 11.07, his guilty plea was the result of ineffective assistance of counsel, and was thus involuntary. Moreover, it stated that the parties and the trial judge all agreed that Harringotn was wrongly convicted of a felony DWI when he should have been convicted of only a misdemeanor DWI. The Court of Criminal Appeals granted relief and remanded the case to the trial court for resentencing as a Class A misdemeanor.
Find A Collin County Attorney for a Deferred Adjudication | Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy
If you were arrested for DWI in Collin County and are now seeking deferred adjudication, make sure that you do not delay in retaining legal counsel. A criminal defense lawyer will make all the difference in helping you achieve the most favorable resolution to your case. Our firm understands the best ways to fight DWI charges and has decades of experience helping people overcome criminal allegations of varying severity.
Call (469) 304-3422 or contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today at for a consultation about your alleged offense in Plano, Allen, Frisco, McKinney, TX, and surrounding areas of Collin County, Texas. We can then better understand the nature of your charges and also examine your possible defense options.