What is deferred adjudication for a traffic ticket?
When a driver gets a speeding ticket in Texas, there are several options available to handle the ticket. Remember that speeding tickets and traffic tickets are a type of criminal offense. And simply paying a fine constitutes a finding of guilt on the criminal offense and the driver is subject to having points added to his or her license.
Of course, a driver who receives a ticket could also plead “not guilty” to the citation and fight the ticket in court. This will require a trial. And again, if the driver is ultimately found guilty, the driver will be assessed additional fines, surcharges and points added to the license.
Deferred Adjudication in Texas
One of the more useful options for handing a Texas traffic citation is something called “deferred adjudication.” The technical definition of deferred adjudication is that the driver’s plea of guilty or no contest to the ticket is deferred by the court for a period of time. If during that period of time certain stipulations are met, the court will then dismiss the ticket. If the conditions of the agreement are met, there will be no conviction on your record and no points added to your license. The driver is still responsible for certain fees and court costs.
In layman’s terms, think of it as a type of probation. Basically, the driver and the court make an agreement that the driver will pay some fines and not get a ticket during a period of time. If the driver does that, the court will dismiss the ticket. If the driver fails to meet the conditions, the driver will be convicted of the driving offense and will have the ticket on his or her driving record.
Not every case is eligible for deferred adjudication. For instance, if you are ticketed for driving over 25 miles per hour over the speed limit, you will not be eligible for deferred adjudication. Additionally, drivers with a Texas commercial driver’s license (CDL) are not eligible for deferred adjudication.
Consult a Lawyer
If a driver receives a traffic citation, the best thing to do is consult a Texas traffic ticket attorney. Traffic ticket attorneys are generally inexpensive and most will have familiarity with the court’s procedures as well as a relationship with the prosecutors involved with the traffic case. An experienced traffic ticket lawyer can also advise drivers about the usual and customary results in a given court under given circumstances. One of the most important things a Texas speeding and traffic ticket lawyer can do, though, is save people time. Hiring a lawyer can generally save people from having to actually go to the courthouse.
Note: This blog post is for informational purposes only. No legal advice is intended by this blog post. For specific legal issues, please contact a licensed attorney to discuss your legal matter.
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