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Deferred Adjudication Community Supervision
Deferred Adjudication Community Supervision

An individual can receive deferred adjudication community supervision only from a judge, and only after a plea of guilty or nolo contendere. Deferred adjudication means that the finding of guilt is deferred or put off by the judge, even though there is enough evidence to have found the offender guilty of the offense. Once the judge determines there is sufficient evidence to have found the offender guilty but defers the finding of guilt, a sentence of community supervision is imposed with terms and conditions of supervision as with convicted offenders. The sentence can be for no more than two years for misdemeanor offenses, and ten years for felony offenses. There is also a prescribed minimum level of five years for offenders placed under deferred adjudication for certain sexual offenses against children.

Deferred adjudication is not available for offenders charged with intoxication offenses, such as driving while intoxicated and intoxication manslaughter, nor is it available for offenders charged with violating prohibitions against the sale of drugs in drug-free zones and sales of controlled substances to minors.

Upon violation of the terms and conditions of deferred adjudication supervision, a motion to proceed with adjudication may be entered, and the judge may proceed to a finding of guilt on the original offense, since there was enough evidence at the time of the original plea to have found the offender guilty. Once the motion to proceed has been filed and the judge adjudicates the offender, punishment is assessed again for the original offense, and may include a term of regular community supervision, shock community supervision, or jail or prison time, up to the maximum sentence allowed by law for the original offense committed. See the Revocation section under the Glossary of Terms for more information.

Once a sentence of deferred adjudication is successfully served, no record of conviction exists on an offender's record; however, a record of the arrest and the fact that a probated sentence was served still exist, so although offenders can truthfully tell a prospective employer that they have not been convicted of an offense, the deferred sentence can be used as evidence in the sentencing of future offenses, and may preclude the offender from holding a position that requires bonding or a security clearance.