How does a Jacksonville Criminal Defendant Avoid a Felony Conviction?

Under Florida Statute Section 775.08435, a judge can withhold adjudication on a felony unless the Jacksonville criminal defendant falls into one of the following categories:

  1. He is charged with a capital, life, or first degree felony.
  2. He is charged with a second degree felony.
  3. He is charged with a third degree felony and has received a previous withhold of adjudication.  
A Jacksonville criminal defendant that falls under category (2) or (3) above can still receive a withhold of adjudication in the following situations:
  1. the prosecutor requests it in writing or
  2. the court makes a written finding that a withhold of adjudication is reasonable.  
However, the court cannot withhold adjudication of guilt if the Jacksonville criminal defendant has two or more prior felony withholds from a previous case.  
In Jacksonville, Florida, it is more difficult to avoid a felony conviction and obtain a withhold, instead of a conviction, if the Jacksonville criminal defendant already has a criminal record.  This Florida Statute reflects this.  Therefore, if you do not have a criminal record, and you are charged with a felony, you are more likely to receive a withhold than someone that does have a criminal record.  
Visit for a list of Florida Crimes and the Penalties associated with them.  
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