Often our clients ask us about deferred adjudication. Currently the state of Texas does not allow offenders in Driving While Intoxicated cases to pursue the path of deferred adjudication. However, we believe that it could be a path of recourse if the Texas state legislature approves an amendment to the Texas criminal code. We are constantly keeping our eye on legislation in all state and national levels — and there are promising changes that could lead to deferred adjudication for offenders in these state of Texas.
What deferred adjudication does for offenders is it provides them with a positive and healthy step toward recourse while at the same time providing punishment that matches the offense. Deferred adjudication basically is a probation period for the offender that requires him or her to complete a series of tasks and meet a series of conditions within a set time period. This will be agreed upon in the court of law, and it is completely dependent on the offender to complete all of the terms of the plan within a set period of time. You can’t make excuses in deferred adjudication. You either do the work or you don’t. It’s your chance to change things around for you and get a fresh start in your life. This could be your only chance to turn your life in a new direction. If the alleged offender completes all of the term successfully, then he or she will be relieved of criminal charges.
Now, even though deferred adjudication as a formal part of the law is not a possible path in Texas, legal counsel can negotiate a lesser or different charge for you that results in probation. Essentially, Texas courts do work with prosecutors and defense attorneys to come up with a solution that results in the alleged offender avoiding another Driving While Intoxicated charge that leads to jail time. Every case is different, and certainly there aren’t any promises. But there are many options for negotiating in every court room, and your attorney is going to have the institutional knowledge of the law and the experience to be able to come up with a plan of action for appealing and defending you in Texas state courts. It’s worth asking your DWI attorney about your options for pleading to a different or lesser charge in court. Your legal counsel can help you understand the legal options you have and what your district or county court typically has ruled in cases similar to yours in the past.