If you find yourself in a situation where the evidence against you is indisputable and your attorney is unable to get your case dismissed, there are other options afforded to you other than being sent to jail. You may be eligible for community supervision; more commonly referred to as probation or deferred adjudication. Both types of community supervision result in being supervised by the court for a designated amount of time in lieu of going to jail, but there are distinct differences between being placed on probation as opposed to deferred adjudication.
When placed on probation, a defendant pleads guilty and is found guilty by the court. They are sentenced to a certain amount of time, but instead of going to jail their sentence is probated and they are allowed back into the community under certain conditions imposed such as: community service, rehabilitative classes, probation fees, and drug testing. If the defendant successfully completes the terms of their probation their case is disposed of without ever going to jail. Probation is considered a final conviction by the courts and the law does not afford defendants the right to have this type of conviction expunged or sealed, it will remain on your record forever.
Deferred Adjudication is a different type of community supervision. With deferred adjudication, you plead guilty, but you are not found guilty upon successful completion of the deferred adjudication. Similar to probation you will have to adhere to certain conditions imposed by the courts and if you do not follow those conditions you can also be sent to jail at the judge’s discretion. Deferred adjudication is not considered a final conviction and upon successful completion you may be eligible to have your record sealed from the public.
SEALING YOUR RECORDS
Your record is not automatically sealed. This is a common misconception upon individuals that have completed deferred adjudication. There are extra steps you must take to get you record sealed. You must petition the court to order law enforcement agencies to seal your record from the public. The legal forms to have your record sealed are accessible online at the Harris County District Attorney’s website, but I recommend that you consult with an attorney before undertaking this task on your own.
Attorney Krystin Collins is a native of the Acres Homes Community. She is a graduate of Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law and has been a licensed attorney since 2009. She may be contacted at 713-984-2006 or firstname.lastname@example.org.