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Is it allowable for a court to render a judgement at pre-sentencing and then change it on the day of sentencing in Florida?

Orlando, FL |

I was charged with 2 counts of Trafficking in 10 grams or more of MDMA and 1 count Sell and Delivery of MDMA. At pre-sentencing, the "Judgement" papers read: I entered a plea of guilty to the following crimes and "IT IS ORDERED THAT ADJUDICATION OF GUILT BE WITHHELD". This was filed in open court and I was fingerprinted. On my day of sentencing, a month and a half later, a different set of "Judgement" papers read: I enter a guilty plea to the following crimes and "IT IS ORDERED that the defendant is hereby ADJUDICATED GUILTY of the above crimes". This also was filed in open court and I was fingerprinted. Both sets of judgement papers are the exact same (case number, charges, etc.) except for the Adjudication Withheld or Adjudicated Guilty. Can the first judgement made be enforced?

Attorney Answers 7


  1. This is a question that you should really ask your lawyer since he/she knows the details of the agreement. if you ended up with something on your sentencing that you did not agree to then you need to get back into court ASAP to get it corrected.

    For more information or to set up a free initial consultation contact the Mangrum Law Firm at 407-349-7474 or MangrumLaw@gmail.com. This answer does not, nor is it intended to, create an attorney-client relationship. It is offered for informational purposes only. Please consult with a licensed attorney before making any legal decisions.


  2. It's not clear what happened. Was this a plea bargain with the state? If not, was it an open plea to the bench? If you had a plea bargain which was the basis of the plea, and it was not followed, you could move to withdraw your plea.

    A lot of times I see agreements with the state as to a sentence, but whether there will be an AG or withhold is left up to the court. If that is the case, the judge may be within his/her rights to AG you. The fact that you had a separate sentencing day tells be that you were not sentenced the first time, so rather than giving you a withhold of adjudication, perhaps the clerk or judge used a poor choice or words to describe that sentencing would be on another day.


  3. Speak to your lawyer about the plea offer. If it is something that can be corrected, the court can pull a video or audio recording in order to correct the judgment and sentence.

    Free Consultations can be made by calling 407-617-1064. Please understand that the information given is not to be construed as legal advice. More information would be needed in order to make more accurate legal determinations on your matter. Furthermore, an attorney-client relationship does not begin until a retainer agreement has been signed by the attorney and client.


  4. Mr. Mangrum is spot on. If you pled pursuant to a plea agreement then you are entitled to the benefit of your bargain. If either the plea changed and you were not aware of it or you pled to the court and got a different sentence than what you had expected, then you may be entitled to have it set aside.

    That said, I no nothing of the facts and circumstances of your case other than the slight blurb that you typed and posted above (NOTE: This is NOT an invitation for you to post additional facts online) and without knowing more I cannot give you a solid answer.

    There are all sorts of time deadlines and legal thresholds for moving to set aside a plea. You will be best advised to start by going back to your lawyer and asking her/him to explain to you precisely what your sentence was, then to determine whether or not it comports with the agreement that you made or the understanding that you had before / at the time of entering your plea and, if not, asking your lawyer what your options are.

    Either way best of luck!


  5. You need to review this with your attorney to find out what happened. Was there new criminal activity on your part or did something intervene during the month and a half?


  6. I agree with what has been said. Another possible explanation would be a clerical error on your minutes. Believe me, it happens. If you were fingerprinted at when you entered the plea, maybe the deal originally was for you to be adjudicated. You really need to check with your attorney on this one.

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