Collateral Consequences

July 11, 2022

A collateral consequence is any adverse legal effect of a conviction, a withhold or an adjudication of delinquency that is not part of the sentence. The Collateral Consequences Project aims to help make sure that everyone involved in the criminal legal system fully understands the consequences of a conviction or withhold of adjudication in misdemeanor, felony, and juvenile cases in Florida. This includes teaching the impact that a conviction or withhold has in vital areas of life, such as employment, housing, and educational opportunities, as well as their impact on fundamental issues such as voting rights and immigration status.

This public education and outreach initiative was created for directly impacted individuals, attorneys, judges, public defenders, and the public by the ACLU of Florida, Wilkie D. Ferguson Jr. Bar Association, and Miami-Dade Public Defender. It is intended to provide a deeper understanding of collateral consequences that may result from convictions and/or withhold of adjudications in misdemeanor, felony, and juvenile delinquency cases in Florida.
For individuals who are directly involved with the criminal justice system, when you plead no contest or guilty, or you’re found guilty by a judge or jury, the judge can enter on your record either a conviction or a withhold of adjudication. Either can trigger major consequences in addition to your sentence…even when the sentence is credit for time served.
If you have any question, or would like more information, please contact the ACLU of Florida at

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