Texas Deferred Adjudication, Community Supervision: AKA: Deferred Adjudication Probation

Nearly 2 million Texans have accepted deferred adjudication judgments for misdemeanors and felony arrests with the misconception that once the probation period was over and the charge dismissed that it would not be on their record. Unfortunately this is not the case: the arrest, court and the judgment of deferred adjudication remain on your record and available to the public to view unless you are granted a Petition for Non-Disclosure through the Courts.

Deferred Adjudication
In Texas, many landlords, potential creditors, mortgage companies and employers check your background to investigate potential tenants, borrowers and employees. These companies generally treat a deferred adjudication the same as a conviction. That means that people are often unable to rent apartments or get jobs because a deferred adjudication judgment is on their record.

The law concerning deferred adjudication records changed effective September 1, 2003. Prior to this, a record of deferred adjudication probation remained accessible to the public. As of September 1, 2003, a person who has successfully completed a deferred adjudication probation for a class B misdemeanor, a class A misdemeanor, or even a felony, may (depending on the offense committed) be able to ask the judge of the court of original jurisdiction to sign an Order of Non-Disclosure barring governmental agencies from disclosing the existence of the charge or the deferred adjudication sentence.

For most misdemeanors, the defendant can petition for the Order of Non-Disclosure immediately after his deferred adjudication is discharged. For others, a defendant must wait years after a deferred adjudication is discharged to file for an Order of Non-Disclosure. For felonies, there is a longer waiting period after the deferred adjudication is discharged. Some offenses cannot be sealed with an Order of Non-Disclosure.

After a judge has ordered nondisclosure, the defendant may deny the occurrence of the arrest and prosecution unless the information is being used against him in a subsequent criminal proceeding.

The LAW:
Sec. 20. REDUCTION OR TERMINATION OF COMMUNITY SUPERVISION.
(a) At any time after the defendant has satisfactorily completed one-third of the original community supervision period or two years of community supervision, whichever is less, the period of community supervision may be reduced or terminated by the judge. On completion of one-half of the original community supervision period or two years of community supervision, whichever is more, the judge shall review the defendant's record and consider whether to reduce or terminate the period of community supervision, unless the defendant is delinquent in paying required restitution, fines, costs, or fees that the defendant has the ability to pay or the defendant has not completed court-ordered counseling or treatment. Before conducting the review, the judge shall notify the attorney representing the state and the defendant. If the judge determines that the defendant has failed to satisfactorily fulfill the conditions of community supervision, the judge shall advise the defendant in writing of the requirements for satisfactorily fulfilling those conditions. Upon the satisfactory fulfillment of the conditions of community supervision, and the expiration of the period of community supervision, the judge, by order duly entered, shall amend or modify the original sentence imposed, if necessary, to conform to the community supervision period and shall discharge the defendant. If the judge discharges the defendant under this section, the judge may set aside the verdict or permit the defendant to withdraw the defendant's plea, and shall dismiss the accusation, complaint, information or indictment against the defendant, who shall thereafter be released from all penalties and disabilities resulting from the offense or crime of which the defendant has been convicted or to which the defendant has pleaded guilty, except that:
(1) proof of the conviction or plea of guilty shall be made known to the judge should the defendant again be convicted of any criminal offense; and
(2) if the defendant is an applicant for a license or is a licensee under Chapter 42, Human Resources Code, the Health and Human Services Commission may consider the fact that the defendant previously has received community supervision under this article in issuing, renewing, denying, or revoking a license under that chapter.

(b) This section does not apply to a defendant convicted of an offense under Sections 49.04-49.08, Penal Code, a defendant convicted of an offense for which on conviction registration as a sex offender is required under Chapter 62, or a defendant convicted of a felony described by Section 3g.

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