What is Deferred Disposition?
A Deferred Disposition is a suspended sentence. Upon your plea of “Guilty” or “No Contest”, the Court may defer a finding of guilt until a later date, assess court costs and fees, and order you to comply with certain terms and conditions for a certain period of time. If you successfully comply with the terms and conditions, your case will be dismissed without a conviction. If any terms or conditions are not met and you cannot provide a satisfactory explanation at a hearing before the Judge, you will be found guilty and a conviction will be reported to the Texas Department of Public Safety. Terms vary depending on the type of violation, and not all violations have this option.
Who can request a Deferred Disposition?
Only defendants qualified under Criminal Code of Procedure (CCP) 45.051 may be granted an order for Deferred Disposition, upon a plea of guilty or no contest. If you are under 18 years of age, you must appear in person with a parent or guardian at the date and time assigned by the court prior to requesting a deferred disposition.
Are all violations and charges eligible to be placed on Deferred Disposition? No. If you or your charges meet any of the following circumstances or conditions, you are not eligible for a deferred disposition:
- Passing a school bus
- You are a holder of Commercial Driver’s License or possessed a CDL at the time of the offense
- moving traffic offenses that occurred in a Construction Zone with Workers Present
- Penal Code violations (Theft, Assault, Public Intoxication, etc.)
Only the eligible offenses listed below will be granted a Deferred Disposition. All other violations must be addressed when the Judge or Prosecutor for the state is present. Therefore, defendants requesting a Deferred Disposition for other offenses must request a court date.
- Parking Violations – Parking prohibited/fire lane/handicap
- Moving Traffic offenses and offenses which involves movement of vehicle* (Speeding, Insurance, Registration, Driver’s License, Seatbelt, Defective Equipment)
Note: Anyone 25 years of age and under at the time of offense by Texas law are automatically required to take a driver’s safety course as a condition to their deferred disposition regardless if it’s been taken in the past 12 months.
There may be other reasons you are not eligible for a deferred disposition. Each case is unique and must be reviewed prior to granting a deferred disposition. If you send in paperwork and are not eligible, you will be notified of alternative options or be sent a summons to appear in Court. If you meet the requirements above, you can make your request in person, by email, fax, or mail to the Court on or before your appearance date listed on your citation.