When can the judge “withhold” adjudication on a criminal charge in Jacksonville?

When you have been arrested in Jacksonville for a felony and you enter a plea to a charge, you may be eligible for a “withhold” of adjudication. That means that you will not be convicted of the charge and thus not a convicted felon.

If you are found guilty or enter a plea to certain felonies in Florida, the judge cannot withhold adjudication. They are for any capital, life, or first degree felonies.

If the charge is a second degree felony, the judge cannot withhold unless:

1. The prosecutor asks for it in writing or
2. The judge writes reasons based on circumstances surrounding the case.

If you were charged with a third degree felony in Jacksonville, the judge can withhold adjudication if it is your first time. If this is your second third degree felony, the judge cannot withhold unless the prosecutor requests it in writing or the judge makes written findings about why it is appropriate a second time.

You cannot get a withhold of adjudication if you have two prior withholds for felonies.

As a Jacksonville Felony Lawyer, if my client has been arrested for a felony, my first goal is to get the case dropped. If the state attorney files the case, our Jacksonville Criminal Law Firm fights the charges in court. If our client wants to enter a plea to a felony, we do everything we can to prevent our client from becoming a convicted felon.

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