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Why Is A Withheld Adjudication So Important?

Posted in Blog on February 26th, 2013

When a judge “withholds” adjudication, the defendant is not convicted of the crime. This is a very important thing. This means that the defendant is not actually convicted of the crime. If the charge is a felony, then the defendant is not a convicted felon. You will not lose your civil rights, i.e. the right to vote, the right to possess a firearm and etc. ┬áIf the charge is a drug crime then the defendant’s driver’s license is not suspended.

A withhold allows you to answer “NO” to the common job application question: Have You Ever Been Convicted of a Crime? On a felony case, for example, if a “withhold of adjudication” is received, the person can claim that he has never been “convicted” of a felony.

Another benefit of a withhold of adjudication is that it may allow the defendant to petition to seal or expunge their record. If you are convicted of any crime, even if it is not the one you are seeking to have sealed or expunged, you are precluded from petitioning the court to have your record sealed or expunged.