I was given a "ADJUDICATION WITHHELD" for 2 Felony charges. Back in 2013 & was given early prob term if I completed all my community service hrs & paid my fees. I completed all this by Jan 2014. My question here is when I am confronted with questions that I have included, am I to say yes or no on this? I understand if it specifically ask "withheld adjudication was given" it is a yes but I dont know if deferred adjudication is the same. Also I am concerned since I have completed everything that was asked and already received my letter of early probation granted/all fees are paid per the clerk of courts records. // Also I am going to school for Medical Assisting and curious if I chose to have my record sealed will this affect me in the future for employment in the medical field?
Your question raises many issues. First, deferred prosecution is often a term used when you are asked to perform some task in exchange for prosecution to be held back, or in other words, for the potential charge to ultimately be dropped. If you were given a withhold, then you did not have a deferred. Instead, you entered a plea and the court declined to convict you, meaning you have not been convicted of the felonys, which great. So, how you answe employment or application questions is, no, never been convicted of a crime, yes, did receive a withhold adjudication.
Medical employment typically requires you to disclose a withhold, even if not asked, however. And in fact, even if sealed. This is because the medical field, much like other regulated areas, can see into a "sealed" record. Therefore, sealing likely not a benefit as to the medical field, but can be very helpful to you in other areas of life; even if medical board must know, doesn't mean anyone else needs to know.
This is a general answer based on the wording of your question. If you have a specific issue, please feel free to call my office to discuss. We also can seal your record if you like. Good luck.
The above is provided for educational purposes only and is not legal advice nor makes you a client of the Mosca Law Firm, PA. Please consult with a lawyer in order to obtain confidential legal advice that is tailored to your specific situation and facts.
It sounds like the question is referring to a diversion program, but you are right it references an "adjudication" which is confusing since the charge is typically dismissed if you complete a pre-trial diversion program. I suppose they may be suggesting a conviction after failing to complete a program you started and didn't finish but it really isn't clear. That may be precisely the point of the question, to be vague enough to confuse the person answering causing them to admit things they may not otherwise have to. If you have no other convictions and you've never expunged or sealed a record before, you should seal this one for a number of reasons. First and foremost, if you get the order to seal the record, the statute allows you to legally deny you were even arrested. You can be in court, under oath, testifying before a judge and still deny the arrest. There are circumstances where you still have a duty to disclose the charge including if you want to be a lawyer, if you want to go into law enforcement, if you want to work in a school or with the aged or infirmed, as well as some others. There will also be certain agencies that still have access to the record including the state attorney's office, law enforcement, department of defense and similar agencies. Google Florida Statute 943.059 and it will give you the details. BTW you do not need an attorney to do this. If you go to FDLE's website (florida department of law enforcement) and search "sealing" the instructions and forms will come right up but be prepared for this to take up to 8 months to complete. Once you have the application, your fingerprints, a certified copy of you disposition and your filing fee sent to Tallahassee, it will sit on someone's desk,for several months until they get around to sending your certificate of eligibility, then you have to file with the clerk, the State Attorney and the arresting agency, and after a few more weeks,or months, you may have to go in front of a judge and it goes on and on. This is why most attorneys will charge between $1K to $1.5K (some may charge less) to do this because it's a PITA and it takes the attorney's (or really the assistant's) time to constantly follow up and stay on top of the process. Good luck!
You must answer the question honestly that is being asked because a background check will reveal the withhold of felony adjudication you have received. The question of "deferred adjudication" would seem to include withholds and diversion program participation. Also, background investigations conducted by state & federal licensing agencies will also reveal the charges. This is really an employment law question, so I am changing the topic to allow you to access other informed answers.
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