Does deferred adjudication really mean your case file is sealed and can’t be open or seen by anyone?

Asked on July 21, 2015 under Criminal Law, Texas


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Deferred Adjudication is a special type of probation. Pursuant to it, a defendant is placed on a probation and if it is successfully completed, the case is "dismissed". Pleading guilty for Deferred Adjudication is not considered a conviction, so while a criminal background check will show the arrest for the charge, it will show the Deferred Adjudication, not a conviction.

After their probation is completed, the defendant can file a petition for non-disclosure. This seals the criminal record of the offense from private entities. This keeps potential employers, apartment complexes and others from knowing about the offense. However, the public sector will have access to your record (police, military, government employers, etc.).

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