Reduction of Charges Agreement in Jp5, with Deferred Disposition
The following information is only relevant to Law Office clients that have the following offer in place:
a reduction of current offense(s) to a Class C offense, which is being Deferred in a Justice of the Peace court, AND
the client has received or will be required to sign several documents for the reduction/deferral.
If you're not certain whether this applies to you, or if you have not received a link to this page from an attorney, then this information may not apply to you.
There are several documents required for a Reduction that need to be signed. These documents will be mailed (or have been given to you). Please sign and return them along with the fine and court costs, and your proof of completion for the Class. The fine can be paid by a money order payable to ???JP5,??? or by a personal check to my Law Office. I can then issue a Law Office check to the Court. Fines/Court Costs must be paid upfront, according to JP5 rules.
This means that, in addition to any other items you may have in your case, you'll need to deliver the following items to your lawyer:
Signed documents listed below; Fine Money; Court Costs.
Below is an outline the required documents to proceed with a JP5 Reduction of Charges and Class C Deferred Disposition. If you have any questions about the forms or the case, please call us.
REDUCTION OF CHARGES AGREEMENT: This is the document used to dismiss the more serious offense, be it a Class A or B Misdemeanor or Felony. This form will list your current charge(s) that are being reduced, and the Class C offense that is being instituted. The document lists the criteria or terms that you're to comply with for the reduction/dismissal. You'll need to sign and date the form at the bottom.
APPLICATION FOR DEFERRED DISPOSITION: This is the page that allows the case to be deferred for 6 months, or longer (check your form). You'll need to sign near the top, where it says 'Defendant', and then write your initials to the left of each circled number in the middle of the page. The circles designate the items that apply to your case. So during the deferral period, you'll need to complete any of the checked off and initialed terms. Most common, are to complete hours of community service, and stay free of any arrests or convictions. You will only need to complete the checked off terms.
If you complete and comply with the requirements, the case will be dismissed at the end of the deferral period. The Clerk will write in the six-month deadline date (or however long your deferral period will be).
If you fail to comply with the terms, then the Court can assess a fine (listed at the top), and enter a conviction of the Class C offense onto your record. They would NOT be able to reinstate or refile the Original Class A or B Misdemeanor (or Felony), however.
JUSTICE OF THE PACE, PRECINCT 5 - CASH BOND AGREEMENT: You'll need to sign the bottom of this form and date it. This is the contact form for Justice of the Peace 5 (JP5), which will be the court handling the reduced Class C offense. This form does two things. First, it allows the fine to be considered as bond pending the deferral period. Second, it contains a part about a plea of No Contest.
The No Contest plea on the Class C ticket will remain ONLY UNTIL the deferral period is up. Then, assuming you comply with the terms of your Deferred Disposition, the case will be dismissed.
**The catch is that if you fail to comply with the terms, then the Court can use the No Contest Plea to assess a fine, and enter a conviction of the Class C offense onto your record. They would NOT be able to reinstate or refile the Original Class A or B Misdemeanor (or Felony), however.
When I file the paperwork, the DA will dismiss the Original Class A or B Misdemeanor (or Felony) that day. I'll send you a copy of the Order of Dismissal. Six months down the road, JP5 will send you the Order of Dismissal on the Class C.
That means that you'll have no more court dates after this is done, so it'll be up to you to complete the terms of the deferral by the deadline. JP5 WILL NOT GIVE EXTENSIONS!!! So if you know you're going to have problems, it's better to let your lawyer know ahead of time. Also, since the case is no longer on the dockets, and will not require any further hearings (unless you don't complete the terms), the Lawyer will not be checking in with you, or reminding you of your obligations. But as always, if you have questions, please call us.
OTHER OPTIONS (This section has already been discussed in person, phone, or email):
As with any criminal offense, you also have the right to reject this Reduction/Deferral Offer and proceed with either more negotiations or a trial. At the trial, you hav the right to a lawyer, the right to confront evidence and witnesses against you, and the right to bring in your own witnesses and evidence. You could testify, or remain silent. By agreeing to proceed with a plea bargain, you're giving up your right to a trial, the right to contest the charges, the right to appeal, in exchange for an opportunity to dismiss your case.
Also, for clients that are not US Citizens, a Class C reduction and Deferred Disposition can and often will count against you in immigration proceedings on deportation, admission to the US, and Visa/Citizenship status/applications.
If you have any concerns or questions, please don???t hesitate to contact us.
Payments can also be mailed to:
Keates Law Firm, 700 Lavaca, #1400
Austin TX 78701
Checks/Money Orders made out to:
"Robert Keates" or "Keates Law Firm"