Three Divisions. One Firm.
Countless lives changed.
Choosing Between Probation and Deferred Adjudication

Probation and Deferred Adjudication Lawyer

What is the difference between Probation and Deferred Adjudication in Texas?

Probation and deferred adjudication in Texas are similar but have a very important difference.

Both are forms of community supervision authorized by the Texas legal system, and both often include conditions set by the court, such as behavioral programs and sanctions.

If you’re facing criminal charges, consult a probation and deferred adjudication lawyer.

A person must adhere to these conditions as an alternative to jail or prison. Both can be imposed for misdemeanor or felony offenses instead of a jail or prison sentence.

The difference? Someone receives probation after pleading guilty or being found guilty in court.

Someone receiving deferred adjudication was not convicted of an offense in most cases.

Again, both are forms of community supervision allowed under the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.

Both straight probation and deferred adjudication come with strict conditions that, if violated, could result in jail or prison time.

If you or a family member is facing a criminal offense, consult with a Dallas probation and deferred adjudication lawyer as soon as possible. The defense team atVarghese Summersett includes Board Certified criminal defense attorneys and former prosecutors with decades of experience.

In this post, we’ll explain in detail probation and deferred adjudication in Texas, their common conditions and term, and what crimes are not eligible for either.

What are common terms of Dallas probation and deferred adjudication?

In Texas, judges set conditions of probation and deferred adjudication. Anyone facing either must abide by these conditions or be at risk of violating their probation.

A respected probation and deferred adjudication lawyer will ensure you’re aware of the conditions set by the judge.

Common probation and deferred adjudication terms and conditions:

  • No violations of the law
  • Report to a probation officer as directed
  • Submit to drug testing by a probation officer
  • Pay probation fees, court costs, and other fees
  • Complete classes or programs required by a probation officer
  • Complete community service
  • Pay restitution, if applicable, to the victim
  • Abide any curfew
  • Abide by travel restrictions
  • Maintain employment
  • Refrain from consuming alcohol, drug, or controlled substances
  • Refrain from fraternizing with criminals and in unsavory places
  • Permit unscheduled visits to home and office by a probation officer
  • Request permission and approval from the probation office before changing residence, job, or traveling out of state.
  • Support any dependents
  • Obtain a high school diploma or GED
  • Execute a waiver of extradition
  • Complete a psychological or psychiatric evaluation

In Dallas County, most probationers are ordered to report once a month for half-hour meetings with probation officers.

Individuals with more serious offenses might have in-home inspections or field visits by a probation officer.

Consult with your probation and deferred adjudication lawyer to ensure you comply.

How long can probation last in Texas?

In Texas, a felony conviction can receive a maximum of 10 years of probation. A misdemeanor conviction punishable by jail can result in up to two years of probation.

Is early release from probation available in Dallas?

is early release available for your probation

If it’s in the best interest of the individual and society, in most cases, a judge can release someone from probation by up to a ⅓ of the assigned term.

A probationer can request the judge review their case after half the term has been served.

However, while this type of review is mandatory upon request, early release from probation is solely discretionary on behalf of the judge.

A dedicated Dallas probation and deferred adjudication lawyer will work tirelessly to earn an early release for their client.

When does Texas not allow probation?

Texas does not permit probation for any sentence 10 years or longer. Judges in Texas are limited on which offenses they are allowed to offer probation.

Juries, however, are allowed to probate most offenses.

The parameters are laid out in the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. The offenses Texas judges are prohibited from issuing probation are known as “3g offenses.”

The offenses received this nickname for the section they were previously listed under in the Texas code.

They are now listed in Article 42A.054 but remain known as “3g offenses” in Texas legal circles.

3g offenses in Texas:

  • Murder
  • Capital murder
  • Indecency with a child by contact
  • Aggravated kidnapping
  • Aggravated sexual assault
  • Aggravated robbery
  • Burglary
  • Sexual assault
  • Drug cases where a child is used in the commission of the offense or the offense took place within 1,000 feet of a school or on a school bus.
  • Injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual, if the offense is punishable as a felony of the first degree
  • Sexual performance by a child
  • Criminal solicitation cases that are punishable as a felony of the first degree
  • Compelling prostitution
  • Trafficking of persons

What is deferred adjudication in Dallas?

Deferred adjudication allows a person to keep a conviction off their record. If it’s a felony charge, deferred adjudication could keep you out of jail or prison.

A skilled probation and deferred adjudication lawyer will keep you apprised of what is possible in your case.

A person receiving deferred adjudication typically must successfully serve a term of community supervision (commonly referred to as probation) before the matter is resolved and the offense remains off their record.

Does deferred adjudication stay on your record in Texas?

does deferred adjudication fall off your record

After successfully completing a deferred adjudication term, your case is dismissed without a conviction on your record.

The arrest of the offense remains on your record, but you could be eligible to have your arrest sealed through a non-disclosure petition.

Speak to your Dallas probation and deferred adjudication lawyer about receiving an early release if you have successfully completed half your term.

How long does deferred adjudication last in Dallas?

Deferred adjudication for a misdemeanor punishable by jail can be a maximum of two years.

Generally, a felony offense can be deferred for up to 10 years.

An experienced Dallas probation and deferred adjudication lawyer might be able to negotiate a shorter term.

Texas judges have the discretion to release a person early from deferred adjudication if it’s in the best of interest of the individual and society.

Important note: Juries can’t impose deferred adjudication on defendants.

Is early release from probation available for a DWI in Dallas?

Texas law does not permit early release from probation stemming from a DWI conviction.

A judge, however, can allow a person to go to non-reporting status after serving at least half of their probation term.

A judge can also authorize an early removal of an Interlock device on someone’s car.

A skillful probation and deferred adjudication lawyer will work to limit the restrictions on your freedom.

How many people are on probation in Texas?

In 2020, Texas had about 334,000 citizens on probation, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Why is probation revocation not double jeopardy in Texas?

If a person violates their probation, they are first penalized for the original offense and later, and separately, penalized for the second offense – or the reason for the probation revocation.

This is not a double jeopardy case because the revocation is punishment for the underlying offense, while the punishment for the new offense is a separate case.

A knowledgeable probation and deferred adjudication lawyer will ensure the law is appropriately applied.

What is the double jeopardy probation revocation precedent in Texas?

In a 1986 Texas case, a defendant was found guilty of possession of cocaine and was granted 10 years of probation. However, the next year, he was charged with assault.

The State of Texas moved to revoke his probation based on the allegation that he had violated the terms of his probation by committing the assault.

The question on appeal was whether a revocation based on the new offense would constitute double jeopardy.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals determined that although Tarver was twice placed at risk of punishment, the punishment would be for different offenses, and therefore, double jeopardy did not apply.

For more specifics on the case, research Ex parte Tarver, 725 S.W.2d 195 (Tex. Crim. App. 1986).

probation vs parole

What’s the difference between probation and parole?

Probation and parole are not the same, despite the terms often being interchangeably used.

Three main differences between probation and parole:

  • Probation is granted to those convicted of misdemeanors and lower-level felonies.
  • Parole is granted to convicted felons who have served time for their convictions.
  • A judge or jury issues probation. A parole board only grants parole.

Probationers have usually served no jail time. Parolees often have served a substantial part of their sentence in jail or prison.

An accomplished probation and deferred adjudication lawyer will make sure their clients have a clear understanding of their circumstances.

Facing probation or deferred adjudication in Dallas? Call Varghese Summersett.

If you or a family member has been charged with a criminal offense in Dallas, consult with a defense attorney to protect your rights.

Varghese Summersett has an experienced team of probation and deferred adjudication lawyers prepared to resolve your case in the most favorable manner possible.

For a free consultation, call us at 214-903-4000.

Related Articles
Close Icon