The Myth of Deferred Adjudication, Once Again
I was reading an Associated Press article about Priscilla Slade’s plea deal and noticed how the world’s oldest and largest news organization mischaracterized deferred adjudication.
Slade, the ex-president of TSU, accepted deferred adjudication on a first degree felony for allegedly misappropriating school funds while she was president of the university.
The AP reporter wrote: “The deferred adjudication means that Slade’s record would be cleared if she successfully completes the judge’s terms.”
Once again, Deferred Adjudication does not disappear if the terms are successfully completed. Rather, as I have extensively written about on this site, one must file a petition for Non-Disclosure to seal the record. Some offenses are not even eligible for non-disclosure. With a felony like Ms. Slade’s, she will also have to wait five years from the day she finishes the probation before she can file for non-disclosure.
Finally, the non-disclosure is not a done deal even if the time requirements are met. The judge, after a hearing with Ms. Slade and the DA’s office, has the discretion to grant or deny it.
You can bet the DA’s office will contest the petition at this hearing.
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