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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.

The Impacts!

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.


Tags: adjudicated guilty adjudication Aggressive Polk County arrest background check DUI expunge expunge arrest expunge record juvenile misdemeanor seal seal arrest withhold adjudication


Jan 2013


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112 E Poinsettia St Lakeland, FL, 33803

(863) 688-4606


4107 N. Himes Ave #200 Tampa, FL, 33607

(813) 789-6404


24140 FL-54 #101e Lutz, FL, 33559

(727) 457-8660


Thomas Grajek is a great lawyer

After my husbands DUI, I met with a couple of lawyers but NONE were as attentive as Thomas Grajek. Thomas was able to beat the DUI charge that I thought would be impossible. Not only did he save us money, he also helped put our lives back. I would recommend Mr. Grajek to anyone in our situation. Thsnkd Tom!!!

Thomas Grajek is a great lawyer

Excellent Attorney....called this attorney on a Saturday. He was quick to call me back and even gave me free advice as to how to handle the situation we were in. We ended up hiring him best decision we made. Would recommend this attorney to anyone.

Thomas Grajek is a great lawyer

Got a DUI a few months ago and got Toms name from a friend of mine.. I am more then satisfied with the way he handled my case and the way he kept me informed the whole time.. I got off on reckless with a with hold which i am more then happy to have on my record then a dui... He's a very down to earth guy and definitely trys to relate to where ur comin from.. I would with no doubt recommend Tom to friends and family... Thanks Tom ur the best!!!!!!

Thomas Grajek is a great lawyer

Great DUI Lawyer!! He got my DUI dropped to a reckless driving charge!! definitely went above and beyond for my case!!!He is very easily accessible and always promptly returned my phone calls/emails.

Thomas Grajek is a great lawyer

I have just moved to the Tampa area. I was intoduced to Tom after being arrested for a DUI. Within minutes of being bonded out Tom came to my place of employment with all needed documents to "get the ball rolling". He always kept me informed on my case and when the time came for my hearing, I plead guilty to wreckless and had no fines and very little commuity service. Thomas Grajek is a great attorney and I feel he would be a valuable assett in anyone's defense.