Deferred adjudication is the cause of a lot of confusion among defendants and attorneys. The main reason- deferred cases (except traffic tickets) can NOT be expunged. That pot case you took deferred probation on 5 years ago…. still on your record. Luckily, there are Texans dedicated to reforming this system and giving deserving defendants a clean record.
Here is an Interview with Rob Sandifer of the Texas Association for Justice and Legal Reform.
My name is Rob Sandifer I am the co-founder and director of a Dallas based, statewide organization of friends/volunteers who are working with our elected state officials to pass proposed legislation into law which will remove the bar to expunction of deferred adjudication criminal records found in TCC 55.01
(2) What changes do you want made to deferred adjudication?
I approach this question from two angles (A) criminal records expunction reform AND (B) reviewing the appropriateness of awarding deferred adjudication for certain offense classifications. For (A), the change that is fair and necessary is simple: Remove the bar to expunction found in TCC 55.01. For (B), I personally feel that certain types of offenses should not even be statuorially allowed (murder, kidnapping, etc, etc) and the laws should be changed to reflect that.
(3) Why should Texans care about deferred adjudication reform? Texans, by and large, should care about deferred adjudication reform for many reasons; a few of them I will mention here. It is a fact that nowadays, most Texans know of someone who has been placed on deferred adjudication probation. Texas Department of Public Safety statistics confirmed in 2005 that there are currently approximately 2 million Texas citizens whom, at one time or another, have been placed on community supervision. Many of these people continually have a very difficult time finding employment, housing, etc as a direct result of having a criminal record associated with their deferred adjudication. This, in and of itself should be of a major concern to ALL Texans, whether or not they have been personally impacted by deferred adjudication. Having a large segment of the population unemployed results in a chronic loss of production and human capital and the only way many of these people can survive is to resort to stealing and other dishonest means of making a living in order to feed themselves and their families. The main reason that Texans should be concerned about deferred adjudication reform is that one day, they themselves may be impacted by it in a very personal and devastating way!
(4) Anything else?
Just one: Citizens of our state and country have a responsibility and duty to hold their public officials accountable for their actions. If we as free citizens abdicate that responsibility, then we have absolutely no right nor reason to complain about the inevitable consequences; passing of bad laws, corruption, etc. I practice what I preach. For a number of years, I have been at the forefront of a statewide movement to reform the expunction laws and I will continue to do so until expunction reform is the law of the land.