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Juvenile Law – The Benefit of Deferred Prosecution

Deferred Prosecution is different from deferred adjudication. Although the terms sound similar, deferred prosecution is available in Texas only at the Juvenile level, while deferred adjudication is available at the adult level.

Deferred adjudication is probation that occurs after a person in the adult criminal justice system pleas before a court and is sentenced to a probationay period. It is a type of probation that helps, under some circumstances, people escape the stigma of a conviction. With deferred adjudication if one is able to successfully complete probation, there is a potential that they can seal their record from the public.

Deferred Prosecution is a process that occurs before a juvenile goes before the Court to discuss whether the alleged delinquent behavior is true or not true. Deferred Prosecution is deeply helpful because it forces the Juvenile system to halt all pending charges against the juvenile while they go through a short probationary program. If they are successful with that program, the State is not able to bring those same halted charges up against the juvenile.

Deferred Prosecution is good because it is a pre-trial diversion program that allows Juveniles to have a second change. In other words, Deferred Prosecution ensures that a juvenile is not telling a Court that they committed a delinquent act. It allows the Juvenile to have services and treatment without the admission or plea of true to a delinquent act.