COMMUNITY SUPERVISION

Dallas Criminal Lawyer

Dallas Criminal Lawyer | Fort Worth Criminal Lawyer 

Depending on certain circumstances, a defendant may seek community supervision from a judge or jury. Instead of requiring a defendant to serve a sentence of confinement and or pay a fine, a judge may place an eligible defendant on one of two two types of community supervision:

  • Deferred adjudication; or
  • Post conviction community supervision.

For both types only a judge may specify a definite length of time for supervision and certain written conditions for the defendant to obey.  For each type of community supervision, eligibility is determined by statue, according to the offense committed.

Judge Ordered Deferred Adjudication

Deferred adjudication means a judge, not jury, hears a plea of guilty or no contest but delays any finding of guilt and places a defendant on community supervision for a specific length of time and with specific conditions of supervision.  For the defendant, the significant distinguishing element of deferred adjudication is the deferral of a finding of guilt and the absence of a sentence, thereby giving a defendant the opportunity to avoid many of the disqualifications and disabilities associated with a felony conviction.  After a period of deferred adjudication supervision ends, the judge must dismiss the case against the defendant.

Upnon finding a violation of a condition of supervision, the judge may find the defendant guilty and impose a sentence within the full range for the offense.

Enhancements

The State may require a defendant to peas true to any enhancement paragraphs in the indictment or information and recommend that the judge defer a finding that the allegations are true.  That agreement would leave the enhancements available for consideration by tejudge if a subsequent adjudication occurs.  The state may also agree to abandon any enhancement paragraphs.

Deadly Weapon Finding

The state may recommend an affirmative finding on a deadly weapon special issue, delay the entry of an affirmative finding, or abandon the issue entirely.  Without an agreement on a deadly weapon special issue, a judge is free to withhold or make an affirmative or negative finding on the issue without violating the plea agreement.

Length

Except for certain sexual offenses, the state may agree to recommend any length of time for a defendant to serve on deferred adjudication community supervision, up to the maximum period specified by law.  For a felony offense, the recommendation may not exceed 10 years; for a misdemeanor offense, the recommendation may not exceed two years.

For Class C Misdemeanor offenses, the recommended length of supervision may not exceed 180 days.

Early Termination

Except for certain sexual offenses, a judge may reduce or terminate a period of deferred adjudication at any time during the period of supervision, if the judge finds early termination would be in the best interest of society and the defendant.

If a defendant is placed on deferred adjudication after August 31, 1999 for an offense that requires the defendant to register as a sex offender, a judge may not reduce or terminate the period of supervision before its expiration.  In addition, a judge may not order a dismissal and discharge upon completion of the period of supervision.

For an offense committed after August 31, 1995, and before Septmeber 1, 1999, a judge may not reduce or terminate a period of deferred adjudication until the defendant has successfully completed two thirds of the period of supervision for the following sexual offenses:

For these sexual offenses, the state may not agree to recommend early termination before the defendant completes two thirds of the deferred adjudication community supervision.