3. What is the difference between pleading guilty or no contest and receiving a Withhold of Adjudication, versus pleading guilty or no contest and receiving an Adjudication of Guilt (i.e., Conviction)?
To begin, the main difference is that a Withhold of Adjudication may permit a person to expunge or seal a criminal history record; whereas, an Adjudication of Guilt (i.e., Conviction) will forever prevent a person from expunging or sealing any criminal history record in the State of Florida for the rest of their life unless the law is changed.
In other words:
- If Withhold of Adjudication then that record may be eligible for a record sealing; whereas,
- If an Adjudication of Guilt then that or any other criminal record belonging to that individual may never be expunged or sealed.
Nevertheless, it is very important to note that while receiving a Withhold of Adjudication generally allows a person to seal their criminal history record or expunge another criminal history record that person may have, there are some crimes which the Florida Legislature has deemed non expungeable or sealable.
- The list is included in the document below.
- It shows which crimes are considered ‘Dangerous Crimes’ and/or are otherwise expressly prohibited from qualifying for a record expungement or sealing in the State of Florida.
- This is true even if a defendant received a Withhold of Adjudication.
- Of course, if the final disposition for one of those enumerated crimes involves any of the following dispositions, the above exception would not apply: