Florida Statute s. 948.01 gives courts the ability to defer adjudication after imposing a probation term. A stay of adjudication does not constitute a conviction. As a result, the defendant avoids the negative repercussions of a criminal conviction. However, the stay does allow the state to seek enforcement of the probation order if the conditions are violated.
In some types of felony and misdemeanor cases, Florida law precludes the court from deferring judgment of guilt. For example, as indicated in Section 775.08435(1), F.S., the sentencing court may not withhold adjudication of guilt from a person charged with a capital, life, or first-degree crime. Similarly, Section 948.01(1), which deals with violations under $500, prohibits the court from withholding adjudication of guilt.
However, if the defendant is charged with a misdemeanor not listed in Section 948.01, the court can impose any sentence it wants, including probation with conditions that include time served. The judge can also order community service or other forms of restitution as part of the sentence. Finally, the judge can order the defendant to pay fees or costs.
So long as the defendant serves at least five days in jail, the sentencing court can order confinement as a condition of probation. If the defendant does not serve five days in jail, he or she cannot be placed on probation. However, the court can still order supervision as an alternative to incarceration. Supervision can include electronic monitoring or home confinement. If the defendant violates his or her supervision, the court can issue an arrest warrant or even revoke probation or parole.
Florida's statutory scheme provides for three possible sentences: probation, incarceration, or community control. A court can impose only one type of sentence.
Individuals who get a withholding of adjudication will not lose their voting rights and, again, will not lose their ability to carry a handgun in Florida once they have successfully completed probation, according to current Florida law.
Other states do it, but Florida does not. You will not be eligible if you have ever been "convicted" (that is, adjudicated guilty) of ANY crime, either before or after the case you seek to be removed from. It is important to note that "adjudication was delayed" or you obtained a "withhold of adjudication" is NOT deemed a conviction. Further, charges are dismissed by the prosecutor before you are convicted at trial; therefore, those situations should not prevent you from being considered for this job.
The best way to avoid convictions on your record is to avoid committing crimes. If you are charged with something, there is usually an option to enter a plea deal where the charge is reduced to a lesser offense or even dismissed. It is important to understand that a conviction remains on your record forever, no matter what type of relief you receive through the court system.
In order to apply for jobs within the state department of corrections, federal prisons, local jails, or other facilities that require a criminal background check, you will need to provide documentation of your discharge. This can be done by sending copies of any relevant documents (i.e., dismissal papers, waiver of rights form) directly to the facility where you would like to work. They will make their own determination as to whether you are eligible for employment.
Once you have been discharged, you may ask that your record be sealed. This cannot be done online but rather requires an official release letter from the Department of Corrections.
In addition, the court saves time and money by avoiding adjudication. Individuals are basically forgiven for their out-of-character behavior when judgment is withheld. However, this process doesn't eliminate the fact that an offense has been committed.
Here are some examples of people who have had their records sealed: minors who have been granted immunity from prosecution; persons who have received work releases; and individuals who have completed programs designed to correct or change their behaviors.
People who have had their records sealed may apply for any job they like. There is no legal requirement that employers must hire them. Also, people who have had their records sealed should not be asked about their offenses during the hiring process or while they are employed by a company.
Individuals who have had their records sealed may still be required to disclose this information if they apply for a loan from a bank, credit card, or other type of financial institution. The reason is to ensure that these institutions are not being used for illegal purposes.
If you have had your record sealed, you can apply for a security clearance. This will allow you to be hired by any federal agency as long as the appropriate forms are filed with the agency.
Conviction not upheld A stay of adjudication is a stay of conviction. This indicates you were not guilty of the crime. It will, however, be on your record, and you will have either been found guilty by a jury or pleaded guilty or no contest.
There are four ways that a conviction can be overturned: by filing an appeal, seeking a new trial, proving factual innocence, or receiving an administrative reversal. When an appellate court finds sufficient reason to overturn a conviction, it will issue a written opinion explaining its decision. The opinion may address any number of issues including but not limited to evidence sufficiency, prosecutorial misconduct, improper admission of evidence, erroneous instructions to the jury, and ineffective assistance of counsel. If an appellate court determines that the original conviction should be overturned, then the case is remanded to the trial court with instructions for that court to dismiss the charges against you.
Adjudication means the legal determination of guilt or innocence. Withheld means the judge has decided not to make this legal determination at this time. You can be ordered by a judge to go through a series of programs as part of your sentence, if you have been convicted of a felony offense.
If you enter an open plea or are convicted at trial, the judge is compelled to sentence you to the bottom of the guidelines punishment. However, Florida law specifies a number of mitigating conditions that may qualify you for a "downward departure" from the bottom of the guidelines sentence. These circumstances include:
• Physical disability. If you have a physical disability that prevents you from committing crime, such as blindness, then the court can consider reducing your sentence to reflect the lack of ability to conform your conduct to the requirements of the law.
• Mental illness. If you were suffering from a severe mental disease or defect at the time of the offense, which affected your ability to understand right from wrong, then the court could reduce your sentence.
• Substance abuse problem. If you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol when you committed the crime, then the court could consider reducing your sentence.
• Good behavior. If you have no other criminal history and display good behavior while incarcerated, then the court may choose to give you a reduced sentence.
• Cooperation with police. If you cooperate with police investigations by providing information or testifying against another person, then the court could reduce your sentence.
• Role in offense.