Yes. Typically in exchange for a plea of guilty, the State can offer you time in formal probation, deferred adjudication probation, or jail/prison.

Formal Probation

  • Formal probation means the Judge is finding you guilty of your charges however instead of sending you to jail or prison, the Judge puts you on a probation.
  • Probation sentences routinely include conditions imposed by the Court.  Conditions typically include community service, classes, fines and monitoring.
  • If you successfully complete your term of probation and conditions you will be successfully discharged from probation.
  • You will be finally convicted and except under limited situations, this conviction will not be able to removed from your record.

Deferred adjudication probation

  • Deferred adjudication probation is different from formal probation in a very important way; if you successfully complete your term of probation, your case is dismissed and you avoid a formal conviction.
  • By avoiding a formal conviction, you could be eligible to have your records sealed from the public.
  • If you do not successfully complete a deferred probation terms you are eligible to the full range of punishment as provided by law.
  • You could be eligible to finish your probation early.

Jail/Prison Time

  • Jail/Prison times simply means agreeing to take a time in jail or prison, depending on the type of offense you are pleading guilty to.
  • It is important to have an accurate account of time you have already served on the charges to ensure you are credited that time served and in determining an appropriate jail sentence.
  • Jail time means you have been finally convicted and this conviction will not be able to be removed from your record.

Plea negotiations are very individualized and can vary greatly. You need a thorough review of all options before entering into an agreement to fully determine what is the best plan for you.