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Understanding Withhold Of Adjudication For Drug Charges In Florida
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In the state of Florida, many people facing drug charges do not realize there is a little-known rule for escaping the mandatory 2-year driver's license suspension for anyone convicted of a narcotics charge.
This license suspension is mandatory, taking all discretion away from prosecutors and judges. There are a few ways to avoid having your license suspended, though. This includes getting the charges dropped, enrolling in and completing the PTI program, getting found not guilty or successfully negotiating the sentence with withhold adjudication.
This option is available to judges in many drug cases in the state of Florida, and it's designed to give first-time offenders and individuals with minimal criminal history a second chance to avoid formal conviction. This option may allow you to have your record sealed as well, although it's important to work with an experienced Broward criminal lawyer.
If your defense lawyer can successfully negotiate to withhold adjudication, the judge can order you to serve probation without formally convicting you of a drug crime If you complete the terms of your probation, your sentence will be considered complete and you can truthfully say in the future that you have never been convicted of the charge.
To obtain a withhold of adjudication, your defense lawyer must convince the judge that you are not likely to engage in this course of criminal conduct in the future, and the good of the people and justice does not require that you be convicted.
Do You Qualify?
Your Broward criminal lawyer can discuss the details of this with you and help you understand if you qualify for a withhold of adjudication. In general, though, most first time offenders facing misdemeanor or felony charges will qualify, as well as some multiple offenders. Judges in the state of Florida have a great deal of power to grant a withhold of adjudication, so it's important to consult with an experienced Fort Lauderdale criminal lawyer to find out if you qualify.
Benefits of an Adjudication Withheld
Finally, receiving an adjudication withheld offers many advantages. This is not the same as having your charges dismissed, but it does mean a formal adjudication of guilt will not be imposed on you and you will not be convicted. This will improve your chances of education and employment in the future, prevent your credibility from being impeached in court, prevent you from having your driver's license revoked or suspended, preserve your right to vote and own firearms and you may qualify to have your criminal record sealed or expunged.
If you're facing drug charges, consult with an experienced Fort Lauderdale criminal lawyer to determine if this option is available to you. If your defense lawyer can successfully obtain a adjudication withhold for you, your future will be brighter and the stress of this charge will fade away.
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