Law Office of Robert Keates - Austin Theft and Shoplifting Lawyer
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Theft Offenses:
Theft & Larceny
Retail Theft (Shoplifting)
Organized Retail Theft
Theft of Service
Unlawful Use of Vehicle

Theft Arrest Lawyer > FAQs > Deferred Cases

Deferred Adjudication v. Deferred Disposition: Which is Better?

: What is the Difference between Deferred Adjudication and Deferred Disposition?

Answer: Although Deferred Adjudication and Deferred Disposition are often incorrectly used interchangeable, they are quite different and each have very distinct benefits and drawbacks.

Deferred adjudication is a sentencing alternative to an outright pleading of 'guilty' that can allow a defendant to avoid a conviction. Typically the defendant enters a plea of guilty or nolo contendre (no contest) in open court, where the plea is heard by the court, but not entered into the official court record. Instead, Deferred Adjudication allows the judge to postpone or defer any finding of guilt for a set period of time. During that period the defendant will be placed under community supervision, which is essentially texas probation. At the end of the set period, often six months or one to two years, and if the defendant has successfully completed the community supervision, the judge will enter no finding of guilt, and the defendant will have avoided any conviction in the case by having the case dismissed.

While that sounds great, Texas Legislature has caught up with the Court's workings. Most Texas Codes now have added "Deferred Adjudication" language to the already existing "Conviction" for most statutes and laws. Therefore, almost always a Deferred Adjudication is treated the same as a Conviction, aside from one main difference: Successfully Deferred Adjudications can be sealed to the public via a Motion for Non-Disclosure.

Conversely, Deferred Disposition, also known as Deferred Prosecution, is essentially the same setup as an adjudication, except that the defendant does not announce a plea of guilty or no contest in open court. Instead, the defendant is given a set of goals to meet during a short period of time. If no new arrest follow, and the defendant meets the pre-set goals, the case is dismissed by the prosecutors.

Deferred Disposition has a great advantage over Deferred Adjudication; a case dismissed via Deferred Disposition or Deferred Prosecution may be expunged. Expunction is where a persons criminal record and arrest is not only sealed from the public, but erased entirely, it's records destroyed. This is the best route to avoid a Crime of Moral Turpitude from a Theft related offense.


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Burglary Offenses:
Commerical Burglary
Residential Burglary
Burglary of Vehicle

Fraud Offenses:
Fraud, Forgery
Identity Theft
False Statement To Obtain Property
Fraudulent Transfer of Motor Vehicle

Check & Credit Offenses:
Theft by Check (Hot Checks)
Issuance of Bad Checks
Credit Card Fraud or Debit Card Abuse

White Collar Crimes:
Mortgage Fraud
Breach of Computer Security
Insurance Fraud

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The Law Office of Robert Keates handles a broad spectrum of criminal defense trials and cases, ranging from
misdemeanors to felony charges. 100% of our practice is criminal defense in nature, allowing us to focus only on defending you.

All initial phone or email consultations are free, confidential, and without obligation.
Serving Austin Texas and surrounding areas, including: Austin, Travis County, and San Marcos, Hays County.

Legal Disclaimer: Until the Law Office of Robert Keates or an associated criminal defense lawyer with the Law Office receives a signed fee agreement
along with deposit or payment, there is no legal contract for any type of legal representation, despite any general advice or information found on this site.
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Law Office of Robert Keates - AustinTheft and Shoplifting Criminal Defense Lawyer - Student Discounts, Reduced Fees, and Payment Plans - Austin and San Marcos

Law Office of Robert Keates

700 Lavaca St #1400 Austin, TX (512) 216-3211
Austin Lawyer handling Misdemeanor and Felony Criminal Cases 4.9 out of 5 based on 11 reviews