Usually when someone wants to hire me to handle a Class C Misdemeanor, the first thing I try to do is explain to them how they can handle the case without a lawyer.

All you have to do is remember these two words: “deferred disposition.”

If you get a deferred disposition, you plead “no contest,” and then you must avoid all criminal charges that are more serious than a traffic or parking ticket for 6 months, do some community service, pay a deferral fee, and attend a class, but you’ll avoid a conviction.

Most people who hear this explanation are happy to go on their way, knowing what they need to know.

Others still want a lawyer to handle it for them. I still try to talk them out of hiring one. But some insist on hiring a lawyer for one reason or another.

And the question then comes up: what is the difference between a deferred disposition and a probation? Well, I’ve pretty much explained what a deferred disposition is.

Once you are placed on a probation, you must:

  • Report to your probation officer (“P.O.”) at least once a month;
  • Not leave the County without your P.O.’s permission;
  • Allow your P.O. to visit you basically anywhere and anytime they want to;
  • Not change your address without your P.O.’s permission;
  • Not change employers without permission;
  • Pay $60 per month as a supervision fee, in addition to whatever fine and other fees you have to pay;

With a deferred disposition, there’s none of that reporting, permission asking, or monthly fees.

It’s that easy.

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2 responses to “Texas Deferred Disposition and Adjudication Explained”

  1. Rob says:

    Do you just ask when you go into court for a differed disposition? or do you plead no contest, and then try to get one?

  2. Marsh says:

    This is spot on. Mr. Mange recently took a good chunk of time out of his evening to talk with me about this very topic. Thanks, Bill!

    Rob, you’ll want to ask for it upfront when you meet with a clerk or prosecutor.

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