Adjudication Withheld

Definition - What does Adjudication Withheld mean?

Adjudication withheld is when a judge does not adjudicate the defendant's guilt but instead puts the person on probation for a set length of time without any formal determination of guilt or innocence. If the person does not comply with the terms of the probation, they will be convicted of the crime as if they had pleaded guilty.

The purpose of adjudication is to allow the defendant the opportunity to avoid a criminal record. Statutes that cover adjudication are laid out on a state level.

Justipedia explains Adjudication Withheld

The most common use of adjudication withheld in the courts is with regard to traffic offenses. When someone is issued with a traffic ticket, they have the ability to pay it without going to court on the matter. If they pay the ticket in the time frame allowed, it is considered to be adjudicated. Persons ticketed for traffic offenses have the right to go to court to allow the judge to determine their guilt if they feel that the police were incorrect in their reading of the law when issuing the infraction. If the judge finds in the favor of the police and upholds the ticket, the person is required to pay court costs as well as the original fine.

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