Adjudicated Guilt in Florida Explained
General Adjudication of Guilt vs. Withholding Guilt
During the sentencing phase of a criminal trial the judge has the option of adjudicating a person guilty or withholding adjudication (withholding guilt). This translates to whether you were convicted or not. When adjudication is withheld you are not formally convicted by the court. When you’re adjudicated you are convicted of a crime.
Adjudicating Guilt: Adults v. Juveniles
Unlike adults who can be adjudicated guilty (convicted of a crime), juveniles cannot. The court system treats juveniles differently based upon a theory that juveniles do not have the criminal intent (mind set) yet.
How will I know if adjudication will be withheld in my case?
Judges have wide discretion (unless a statute applies) in deciding whether or not to withhold adjudication. The factors include but are not limited to: prior criminal background, age of the adult, type of offense, and the facts of the case.
Impossible to get a withhold of Adjudication on a DUI
Certain crimes are not eligible for a withhold of adjudication. The Florida Legislature has stated that certain crimes such as DUI will not be eligible for a withhold. Thus, in situations like these you will be convicted if found guilty. To be eligible for adjudication, you need the DUI charge amended to a lesser offense that can be withheld and sealed.
Can a juvenile charged with DUI be eligible for withheld adjudication?
– No, the court would simply charge him or her as an adult and adjudicate them guilty.
Convictions can affect you in a lot of ways! Felony convictions will cause you to loose your civil rights – meaning you cannot vote and cannot possess a firearm just to list a few. Misdemeanor convictions can be just as bad. They can affect your current and future employment, your ability to lease property, and your insurance rates.
I want to seal or expunge my arrest (criminal record), does a withhold or adjudication of guilt matter? YES! If you are adjudicated guilty of a criminal offense or adjudicated delinquent of certain enumerated juvenile offenses, you can not seal or expunge your criminal record or arrest including criminal charges where adjudication was withheld or criminal charges were dropped!
I can not tell you how many times I have people charged with a crime say "I'm guilty, what can a criminal defense attorney do for me?" Getting you a withhold can mean the difference between being a convicted felon or not, losing your license for 2 years in certain cases, getting a job in the future and much more!
Call now to speak with a criminal defense lawyer at Thomas C. Grajek, Attorney at Law who knows Florida’s sealing and expunging laws. You need a lawyer with experience, that knows how important a withhold is to your future and will fight for you to get it! Our law firm has offices in Lutz, Lakeland, and Tampa Florida. We defend people facing criminal charges in Polk County, Hillsborough County, and Pasco County and consultations are always free. Call now!
Call sealing and expunging attorney Thomas C. Grajek now 863-688-4606
Aggressive criminal defense attorney handling all felony and misdemeanor cases in Polk, Hillsborough, and Pasco County, Florida.