An Overview of Probation

Interviewer: When are people put on probation?

There Are Three Types of Probation Imposed: Community Supervision

Gary Churak: To begin with, there are three different types of probation. The first type would be what’s called community supervision, and that is after you have been convicted, sentenced, and what the court does is suspend your sentence and then places you on community supervision, probation. That’s the first kind and the most restrictive kind of probation, because you’ve actually been convicted already, of the offense.

Deferred Adjudication

The second type is called deferred adjudication probation, and that is the type of probation where the court says, “I find there’s enough evidence to find you guilty; however, I’m not going to find you guilty. I’m going to put you on probation, and if you do everything you’re supposed to do, your case will be dismissed.”

“Should you violate your probation, then you can come in before the judge, and the judge can sentence you to the maximum amount of time possible under the law.”

So, in other words, it’s a great option if you comply with it, but if you violate, you basically risk going to prison for awhile, or jail, whatever the offense is, depending on whether it’s a misdemeanor or a felony.

Pretrial Diversion

And then the third type is called pretrial diversion and that’s the most advantageous type of probation. That’s where the court puts your case in a holding pattern and puts you on probation. If you do everything you’re supposed to do, then the case will be dropped.

The benefit of that in a pretrial diversion is under Texas law that lets you come in and do an expunction of the case, completely sealing it off your record, versus a deferred adjudication where you can do a non-disclosure. However, in regard to a non-disclosure, it only seals it from the private sector, not from the view of government agencies and law enforcement.