In Florida criminal cases, a judge has the ability to use a method called “withheld/withhold adjudication” to help reduce the severity of sentences. This process allows a defendant to avoid an actual conviction on criminal charges. The court withholds imposition of a sentence and then at times places the defendant on a probation with specific tasks that must be accomplished. If a defendant completes probation and complies with all of the requirements set forth by the court, then no conviction will be entered on their criminal record.
What Does a Withheld Adjudication Require?
When adjudication is withheld, a defendant may still be required to pay a fine, court costs and court fees. The court may place the defendant on probation for a specific period to time. During this term of probation, the defendant typically must not commit any criminal offenses and must comply with all requirements set forth by the court. During probation and depending on the underlying criminal offense, a defendant may be required to participate in community service, provide clean drug tests, or participate in treatment programs.
Why Seek a Withheld Adjudication?
The effect of having a conviction entered on your record can be devastating. Some convictions will impact the ability to exercise constitutional rights, such as voting or possessing a firearm. Any conviction also eliminates the ability to expunge or seal your record. Convictions can also make it more difficult to obtain, or maintain, certain types of employment. A conviction can also limit housing options. Completion of a successful probation when there is a withheld adjudication can prevent a conviction from being entered and could potentially allow you to have your record sealed.
Contact the Khonsari Law Group for Criminal Defense
Anyone who wishes to seek a withheld adjudication should contact an attorney. The attorneys at Khonsari Law Group have the knowledge and experience to review your eligibility for a withheld adjudication. If you qualify, the attorneys at Khonsari Law Group can help negotiate a plea bargain with a withheld adjudication or argue for the same from the judge.
If you are facing criminal charges and would like to learn more about a withheld adjudication, contact the attorneys at Khonsari Law Group today.