A deferred judgment, sometimes called a deferred adjudication, is essentially a form of probation. The defendant is required to plead guilty to the charge, however instead of the court finding you guilty, the defendant will be required to serve a probationary period, and if the probation is completed successfully there is not a finding of guilt.
In some rare instances in Texas, a deferred judgment may be granted in cases of sexual assault or other offenses against a child.
There are a few potential benefits to a deferred judgment in some cases. The court will not put a conviction on the defendant’s record. Instead, the record will indicate that the defendant was arrested and charged with the offense and that a deferred judgment was granted.
Although a deferred judgment or adjudication is not a conviction, it still carries very serious consequences. You will still be required to register as a sex offender as if you were convicted and sent to the penitentiary. Depending on the circumstances of your case, this registration may be required for the rest of your life and can have a detrimental impact on your ability to find employment or even a place to live.
When it comes to sex crimes against children in Texas, accepting a plea deal or a deferred judgment should never be considered as your first option. You need to find the most experienced and aggressive sex crime defense attorney possible to fight your charges right from the start.
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