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What is the difference between

Wylie, TX |

what is the difference between 19.Have you ever been placed in an alternative sentencing or rehabilitation program (for example: diversion, deferred prosecution, withheld adjudification, deferred adjudification)?


20.Have you ever received a suspended sentence, been placed on probation, or been paroled?

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Attorney answers 3


The first question would concern any cases you've had in which you admitted guilt and went through probation or some sort of rehabilitative program, but ultimately received a dismissal rather than a conviction. Even though you weren't convicted, such cases will still show up on a background check unless you get an expunction or order of nondisclosure. The second question concerns convictions. And it's adjudication--not adjudIFication.


Under Texas law, "diversion" and "deferred prosecution" generally refer to programs in which a person goes through some counseling, does community service, and gets the charge dropped. I've dealt with "withhold adjudication" under Florida law, and it is fairly complicated so I think you should aska Florida lawyer about that. Texas does not use that term. "Deferred adjudication" in Texas is a special kind of probation where the court finds that there is enough evidence to find the defendant guilty, but does not do so at that point. Instead, in deferred adjudication, the court lets the defendant do probation. And, if the defendant successful the case gets dismissed without the defendant being found guilty.

"Suspended sentence" and "probation" as they are understood in Texas mean the same thing. The court gives a defendant a definite sentence, for example 5 years prison and a fine of $1,000, and then tells the defendant they get to do probation for lets say 7 years, but that the prison time and fine are being held over their head, and if the defendant messes up they can get sent to prison or made to pay the fine. Sometimes only the time is suspended. There are some other tweaks a court can do to this.

"Parole" under Texas law is supervised release from prison and looks a lot like probation, but is supervised by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Pardons and Parole Division.

If a person has doubts about how to answer questions like this, a half hour with a criminal defense lawyer is usually enough to clear it up.

Answers on Avvo are for general information purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. No attorney / client relationship is created by providing this answer. For specific advice about your situation, you should consult a competent attorney of your choosing.


In Texas, the prosecutors sometimes go beyond the code of criminal procedure in the interest of justice and allow people to not be charged to encourage rehabilitation this is addressed in question 19. Question 20 addresses where a formal charging document was drafted and filed and the formal probation was put in place. Parole is when you were put in prison and they allow you to complete your sentence under supervision of the Texas Dept. of Corrections rather than the local Community Supervision office run by the judges.

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