Can Adjudication Withheld Be Expunged in Florida?

Katz & Phillips

Expungement • Mar 07, 2024

A criminal defense lawyer researches expunging adjudication withheld in Florida.

When an individual enters a plea or is found guilty after a trial of a criminal charge in Florida, there are two possible classification for that individual.  A judge may either adjudicate that individual guilty of the crime or the judge may withhold adjudication. 

There are some crimes in Florida that requires a judge to adjudicate the individual guilty of the crime. If an individual is adjudicated guilty of the crime that means they are convicted of the crime and it will always be on their criminal record. Whenever an individual is convicted of a crime, he or she is ineligible to have their criminal record expunged or sealed. 

On the other hand a judge, if allowed by statute, can choose to withhold adjudication of guilt.  When an individual receives withhold of adjudication (also referred to as adjudication withheld) he or she is not convicted of the crime. Although an adjudication withheld will show up on a person’s criminal record, unlike when an individual receives an adjudication of guilt, an adjudication withheld may be removed from a person’s criminal record. Unfortunately, individuals who receive an adjudication withheld on a criminal charge cannot expunge their criminal record.

To be eligible to have a criminal record expunged, the criminal charges must either be dismissed or receive a not guilty verdict after a trial.  The only way to have remove a criminal charge in which an individual received an adjudication withheld on, is to have their criminal record sealed.  Having a criminal record sealed ultimately does the same thing as having it expunged.

When a criminal record is expunged it is destroyed.  When a criminal record is sealed, it is not immediately destroyed but is instead sealed from public view for 10 years and then is destroyed.  While the criminal record is sealed, an individual can legally deny that they have a criminal record. 

Not all criminal charges in which an individual receives an adjudication withheld on are eligible to be sealed.  An individual may not have their criminal record sealed even if they received an adjudication withheld on the following crimes: arson, aggravated assault, child abuse, aggravated child abuse, kidnapping, aircraft piracy, etc. 

Get a Florida Defense Attorney With Expungement Experience

There are many other crimes besides the ones just listed that make an individual who received an adjudication withheld ineligible to have their criminal record sealed which is why it is important to have an attorney who has experience expunging and sealing criminal records assist in the process.  All of our expungement attorneys have personally represented individuals who sought to have their criminal record expunged or sealed.  Contact Katz & Phillips, P.A. today for an evaluation of your record. Visit our website to see if you qualify for expungement in Florida.