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Information about Criminal Cases

Suspension of Sentence & Deferral of Final Disposition

At your request, the court may consider allowing you a suspended sentence and deferral of final disposition or "deferred disposition." You must first plead guilty or no contest and pay all court costs.

Under this procedure, the court will assess a fine, but will defer further proceedings and place you on probation for up to 180 days. During the probation period, the court may require you to:

(1) Post a bond in the amount of the fine assessed to secure payment of the fine;

(2) Pay restitution to the victim of the offense in an amount not to exceed $500.00;

(3) Submit to professional counseling;

(4) Submit to diagnostic testing for alcohol or drugs;

(5) Submit to a psychosocial assessment;

(6) Participate in an alcohol or drug abuse treatment or education program;

(7) Pay the costs of the testing, assessment, or treatment or education program;

(8) Complete a course as directed by the judge; or

(9) Comply with any other reasonable condition.

You may be required to pay a special expense in an amount not to exceed the amount of the fine assessed.

You will be required to present to the court satisfactory evidence that you have complied with each requirement imposed.
When the court determines that you have complied with the requirements imposed, your case will be dismissed.
If you fail to present satisfactory evidence that you have complied with the requirements, the court will impose the fine assessed and you will be required to pay that fine. If you paid a special expense, that amount will be credited toward the payment of the amount of the fine imposed. The imposition of the fine constitutes a final conviction.


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General Information

This information is furnished to you to provide basic information relative to the law governing procedures for criminal cases in the Harris County Justice Courts.

The Harris County Justices of the Peace and the Clerks of the Harris County Justice Courts are not allowed to give legal advice. You are urged to review the applicable laws and to consult an attorney of your choice for further information or answers to specific legal questions.

You have the right to a trial by a jury and to be represented by an attorney of your choice, or to represent yourself.

Disclaimer: The law is constantly changing and there may be times when the information on this web site will not be current. This information is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. This information is not a comprehensive treatment of the subject and is not a substitute for advice from an attorney.