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What Does a Withhold of Adjudication or Adjudication Withheld Mean?

In a Florida criminal court case, a judge may issue a withhold of adjudication, or sometimes say that adjudication is withheld. But, what do these terms mean?

Both terms mean that a judge can still order penalties or probation for a crime, even without formally convicting the perpetrator. While that may sound strange, this outcome can immensely benefit someone who is involved in a criminal case.

When Would a Judge Decide to Withhold Adjudication?

A judge has the discretion to decide to withhold adjudication in accordance with Florida Statute 948.01(2). 

Typically, an adjudication withheld would be allowed if the culprit understands the crime they committed and is unlikely to repeat their actions in the future. 

A withhold of adjudication is usually only granted for minor crimes, such as petty theft, drug possession, or traffic infractions.  But, sometimes adjudication can be withheld on felonies as well. 

An adjudication withheld would not be allowed for someone with previous withholds or an established criminal record.

What Are the Benefits of a Withhold of Adjudication?

There are a few significant benefits associated with a withhold of adjudication. First, the legal system may impose fewer penalties on an offender. A person granted an adjudication withheld may avoid jail time or the loss of a driver’s license. If the case involves felony charges, the offender would retain their right to vote.

If anyone ever asks if you have been convicted of a crime, a withhold of adjudication would allow you to answer with a “no.” Avoiding a criminal conviction can be a significant benefit, as those who face criminal charges can have a hard time with future employment or housing opportunities.

Finally, with a withhold of adjudication, your case may be eligible to be sealed by the court. This means that the general public will not be able to view it. 

Need Legal Assistance With Your Florida Criminal Case?

The knowledgeable criminal attorneys at Shrader Law in Tampa, Florida, can ensure that you have the appropriate representation when you face criminal charges. Contact us today to set up a free consultation at 813-360-1529.


Posted in Criminal Defense