What is Withholding Adjudication and How Can it Help?

Jul 5

What is Withholding Adjudication and How Can it Help?

A person who is arrested for the first time might worry about being found guilty and the sentencing they could receive. For many people, a conviction is the end of their career and can make their entire life more difficult, especially if they’re accused of a felony crime. In cases like this, it is possible to be found guilty yet have a better outcome that doesn’t lead to these issues. This is where withholding adjudication is going to be vital.

Withholding adjudication is not possible for everyone, but it is something an arrested person will want to look into so they can hopefully get a better outcome for their situation. It’s always better to try to have the charges dismissed or to be found not guilty, but withholding adjudication is a good option if neither of these is possible and it is the person’s first arrest. Basically, what happens is the judge finds them guilty but will seal their record if they complete their sentencing. This effectively has quite a few benefits even though the person is found guilty.

When withholding adjudication is granted by the judge, the person effectively doesn’t have a conviction any longer. While it technically still exists, it can be seen only in very few circumstances. This means it won’t be seen by those who run the standard background check for jobs, homes, and professional licenses. It also means the person doesn’t have to give up their rights if they’re convicted of a felony with adjudication withheld. They can still own a gun, can still vote, and can still have a variety of professional licenses that aren’t allowed to convicted felons. With the record sealed it is, for all intents and purposes, not there.

If you’ve been arrested and charged with a crime for the first time, especially if it’s a felony or has the potential to ruin your career or future career, make sure you talk to a Criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can give you more information on what withholding adjudication means and whether it could be applicable in your case. They’re going to fight hard to get you a better outcome and to ensure you don’t have to give up your future for one mistake.