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Have my civil rights been taken away if I got withheld adjudication on two felonies ran concurrently?

Fort Lauderdale, FL |

I was in drug court on 1 misd. charge of poss. of marijuana & 1 felony charge of poss. of cocaine, while I was in the program, I was arrested on 1 misd. charge of possession of marijuana & 1 felony charge of intro. of contraband in a jail facility. I went to court on both incidents & had my charges ran concurrently. I then pleaded nolo and received adjudication withheld and three years probation with 150 hours community service, a drug program, & drug tests twice a week for the first six months. While I was in court I was never informed that my rights have been taken away. I got early term on my probation for good behavior & completing everything that was required by the state. It's been two years since I've been off probation. According to the clerks info, I was "convicted by plea."

Attorney Answers 3


  1. If adjudication was withheld, then your "rights" were not taken away. Just make sue adjudication was withheld, regardless of what the computer says.


  2. I suggest you go to the Clerk's office and request a certified disposition for each of your charged felony cases. You must do this for each and every case you ever had in every jurisdiction in which you have had a case. If you have ever been adjudicated guilty for a felony charge, whether by plea agreement, plea to the court, or trial loss - then you civil rights have been affected by that disposition.

    If, after all your various encounters with the system, you received only withholds of adjudication for all felony charges, then your civil rights are intact.

    Some drug court contracts provide that in the event that you violate the conditions of drug court you give up many rights you were entitled to when you were first arrested. I personally think such contracts are against the principles of fairness and justice, but still they are there and many people unknowingly sign away some rights when they accept the chance to attend drug court. You contract may have provided some condition that resulted in an adjudication you may be unaware of. Check the dispositions, and then review the contract you signed for drug court.

    If you have been convicted of a felony at some point you can write the State and request clemency. Check the link provided below. Good luck!


  3. Clerk system errors can really screw up your criminal record without you even realizing it. I just had a case where the clerk entered the wrong information into the computer, and my clients background checks were messed up even though our 'paperwork' was correct. Unfortunately, no matter what your "paperwork" says, often times employer background checks access the clerk's computer--expecting the computer to be correct. Thus, even if your 'paperwork' states 'withhold', I would make sure the clerk's computer reflects that as well. Also, it may be worth your while to purchase a background check on yourself ($40 online?) to see how these charges are listed (hopefully, they are listed as withholds, but you never know...).

    Good luck,

    John Guidry II
    www.jgcrimlaw.com

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