What is the difference between an adjudication of guilt and a withhold?

If you are arrested in Jacksonville or anywhere in Florida and enter a plea to the crime, the judge can either withhold adjudication or adjudicate you guilty. If the judge withholds adjudication, you are not convicted of the crime. If the judge adjudicates you guilty, you have been convicted.

The judge can withhold adjudication more than once if the crime is a misdemeanor. The only exception is a DUI because the legislature mandates an adjudication of guilt on every DUI in Florida.

If you were arrested for a felony in Florida and it is your first, the judge can withhold adjudication. If you are arrested again and enter a plea to a felony, the judge can withhold adjudication if he or she makes certain findings in writing. Under Florida law, you cannot receive a third withhold of adjudication on a felony. A Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer could explain this further.