Deferred disposition, or a deferral, is when a plea of guilty or not contest is entered or a finding of guilt is made, the judge may defer further proceedings without entering a guilty judgment and place the defendant on probation for a period of time not to exceed 180 days. The judge may impose a special expense fee and other terms and conditions as provided by law. If the defendant complies with the specific terms and conditions of the deferral, then the case will be dismissed and not reported as a conviction on the defendant's record.
Deferrals are done for traffic violations as well as for penal code violations such as theft, drunk in public and possession of drug paraphenelia. Defendant's that hold or did hold a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) on the day and time of the violation are not allowed to take a deferral for any violation that relates to motor vehicle control.
Common deferral terms for adults over age 25 are:
- Pay a one time special expense fee and all court costs
- Complete the deferral time period (usually 60-90 days) without being charged with any other violation of the law or city ordinance that occurred within the city limits of Longview
Additional deferral terms are required by law for those under age 25 that are charged with a traffic offense classified as a moving violation:
- Complete a driving safety course approved under Chapter 1001 of the Education Code
- If the person under age 25 also has a provisional driver's license they must submit to a driving examination by the Texas Department of Public Safety and pay a $10 examination fee
State law does provide that the Judge can assess additional terms and conditions as outlined in the statutes or any other "reasonable condition" as assessed by the Judge.
Contact the court for the cost of a deferral for your specific offense.
Deferrals for No Insurance Violations
Deferrals for fail to maintain financial responsibility (no insurance) require additional terms:
- Maintain liability insurance for the entire term of the deferral period
- The deferral period is 180 days