In Texas criminal law, the option of deferred adjudication gives defendants the ability to admit criminal wrongdoing while avoiding a criminal record. Deferred adjudication can be a lifeline for individuals facing criminal charges, offering them a chance to avoid a formal conviction. However, understanding when and how it applies can be challenging. If a defendant is unable to meet the conditions of a deferred adjudication agreement, they may find themselves in a worse position than if they had been convicted under the original charges. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals recently heard an appeal by a man who was harshly punished for violating the terms of a deferred adjudication agreement.
According to the recently published judicial opinion, the defendant had been previously found liable for a criminal drug charge by a Texas court. He entered into a deferred adjudication agreement with prosecutors, in which the government would dismiss the charges if he completed certain conditions as part of the agreement. To succeed, the defendant was required to not be convicted of another crime while his agreement was pending.
In June 2020, the defendant was spotted by police in his vehicle with expired registration tags. An officer attempted to stop the vehicle, and the defendant allegedly fled the scene, and the officer initiated a chase. The defendant ultimately crashed his car, and he was arrested and charged with evading police, which led to the rescission of his deferred adjudication agreement.