Withhold of Adjudication and COP

Withhold of Adjudication and COP

  • January 29th, 2020
  • Bruce Denson
  • Comments Off on Withhold of Adjudication and COP

Two things happen when you enter a plea and are sentenced. There is what you do (the Plea), and there is what the judge does (the Sentence). While what you do is meaningful, what the judge does is far more important. Even if you cannot get your case dismissed, you still might be able to avoid being convicted.

The Plea

There are only three pleas in criminal court-

  1. Not Guilty
  2. Guilty 
  3. No Contest (sometimes called Nolo Contendre)

A plea of Not Guilty denies the charges. It is the plea we originally entered for you so we can look at the evidence against you and decide if sentence negotiations or a trial are in your best interest. Unless you change your plea to Guilty or No Contest eventually, a trial will be set.

A plea of Guilty admits the factual allegations against you. After entering a guilty plea, the court can proceed to sentencing. On some occasions, the court or the prosecutor will require a guilty plea and want you to acknowledge your wrongdoing.

A No Contest plea does not admit the allegations, and it does not deny the allegations. Once you enter a No Contest plea, the judge can sentence you for the offense.


After you enter a plea of Guilty or No Contest, then it is the judge’s turn. The Court must either Adjudicate you Guilty, or it can Withhold Adjudication.

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What is Withhold of Adjudication?

An Adjudication of Guilt is a formal finding by the court that you committed the offense. It is a conviction.

Alternatively, the Court can Withhold Adjudication and sentence you without a formal finding of guilt. If adjudication is withheld, you are not convicted of the offense. It is an excellent resolution for several reasons.

There are many benefits to having adjudication withheld. In addition to avoiding the stigma of a criminal conviction, many charges can be sealed if adjudication is withheld. Also, you can deny being convicted of the offense. It will preserve your right to vote and carry a gun. It will minimize the impact an arrest can have on your credit or ability to rent an apartment. A withhold of adjudication may also help you avoid a suspension of your driver’s license in some cases.

Because of the impact the adjudication of a criminal case can have on your future, give us a call to discuss a possible disposition that puts you in the best position going forward. A good resolution does not necessarily involve trial or extensive litigation. We are often able to resolve cases without a conviction even when the case against you is strong.


The Denson Law Firm

Phones answered 24-Hours a day. 727-896-7000.