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Withholding Adjudication of Guilt in Florida and the Associate Benefits

Posted by John P. Rutkowski | Jul 03, 2017 | 0 Comments


The court may place a defendant on probation or community control in misdemeanor case without entering a conviction upon the defendant's record, except for a conviction for DUI. If the defendant completes the ordered probation the case ends with the defendant not suffering a conviction. On the other hand, if the defendant violations probation or commits a new offense the judge will enter the withheld adjudication on the record causing the defendant to be convicted.


The court may withhold adjudication in certain felony cases except for any capital, life, or first-degree felonies. The court may not withhold adjudication in any second-degree felon unless the state attorney request that adjudication be withheld or the court may withhold adjudication on any felony, except for a capital felony, if mitigating circumstances justify it. The same holds true for a third-degree felony and prior withholdings of adjudication will affect the ability of the defendant to obtain a withholding in a current case.


If a court finds that the child has committed a delinquent act or violation of law, it may, in its discretion may withhold adjudication of delinquency. The court may place a child in a probation program under the supervision of the probation department or under the supervision of any other person or agency. Also, the court may, as a condition of the program, impose as a penalty of restitution, community service, impose a curfew, require urine monitoring, revocation, or suspension of the driver license of a child, or other nonresidential punishment appropriate to the offense, and may impose a requirement of participation in a substance abuse treatment, or school or any other educational program attendance.


The court withholding adjudication and you successfully completing probation will result in you not having a conviction recorded on you record. It also allows to apply to have you record sealed and/or expunged, meaning no one is able to see them. If the case was a felony you will not lose your civil rights, meaning you will be permitted to vote and hold public office, however, federal law does not recognize Florida's withholding adjudication, seeing it as a conviction, therefore you may be prosecuted by the federal government if you are found to in possession of a firearm. If adjudication is held in a license suspension traffic case you will not suffer the suspension.

About the Author

John P. Rutkowski

Mr. Rutkowski has been practicing law for the past twenty-five years. Prior to going to law school Mr. Rutkowski served as a deputy sheriff before retiring to attend law school. Upon graduating law school Mr. Rutkowski served as a prosecutor in Florida before going in to private practice and representing clients in three states.


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John P. Rutkowski, Attorney at Law, firm represents clients in the area of driving under the influence, boating under the influence, Criminal & Civil Traffic Offenses. Contact me today for a free telephone consultation.