Jackson, Mississippi Criminal Defense Lawyer Explains Nonadjudication Under Mississippi Law

Under Mississippi criminal law, nonadjudication provides yet another way to avoid a felony or misdemeanor conviction.  Nonadjudication is similar to pretrial diversion/intervention, but there are a few differences.  Below are some frequently asked questions about nonadjudication:

What is Nonadjudication?

Mississippi law provides for nonadjudication of certain crimes.  Pursuant to Mississippi Code Section 99-15-26, nonadjudication allows a person to avoid a conviction, provided they complete conditions ordered by the Court.

Am I eligible for the Mississippi Nonadjudication Program?

The requirements for nonadjudication are as follows:

  1. You must be charged with a felony or misdemeanor that does not involve a “crime against the person” (violent crime);
  2. You must not have previously participated in nonadjudication for a past offense;
  3. You must have no prior felonies (prior misdemeanors still qualify for nonadjudication);
  4. You must not be charged with an offense involving the sale of a controlled substance, possession with intent to sell a controlled substance, or simple possession of more than one kilogram of marijuana (Note: certain other marijuana-related crimes will still qualify for nonadjudication).

Who decides if I get Nonadjudication?

The prosecutor will decide whether to offer you nonadjudication.  Ultimately, it is up to the judge to decide whether or not to nonadjudicate your case.

What happens if I qualify for Nonadjudication?

If you qualify for nonadjudication, you and your lawyer will appear before the judge for a plea hearing.  At the hearing, you will enter a “guilty” plea to the charges.  However, the judge will not accept your guilty plea, place you in “nonadjudication status,” and order you to comply with certain conditions for a specified period of time.

What are the conditions I have to follow on nonadjudication?

Common conditions of nonadjudication include:

  1. No further criminal activity;
  2. Pay restitution to any victims;
  3. Community service;
  4. Pay fines;
  5. Pass drug tests; and
  6. Completion of drug, alcohol or psychological counseling, if necessary.

How long do I have to stay in the nonadjudication program?

In felony cases, the Court can require the Defendant to participate in the program for up to five (5) years.

In misdemeanor cases, the Court can require the Defendant to remain in the program for up to two (2) years.

What happens if I violate the conditions of nonadjudication?

If you violate the conditions of nonadjudication, the judge will simply accept your guilty plea and sentence you as he deems appropriate.

What happens if I complete the nonadjudication program?

  1. The case will be dismissed;
  2. You will not have a felony conviction on your record; and
  3. You qualify to have your record completely expunged.

So how do I get Nonadjudication?

Nonadjudication is not automatic.  You’ve got to have an experienced Mississippi criminal defense lawyer to convince the prosecutor and the judge that you belong in nonadjudication, and not prison.

If you have been charged with a crime and would like to discuss nonadjudication, or other issues relating to your case, please contact me.

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7 responses to “Jackson, Mississippi Criminal Defense Lawyer Explains Nonadjudication Under Mississippi Law

  1. I am under the non ajudication program except i dont see a probation officer nor do I have pass any drug tests, but my question to you is that I went back to school and I got my certification in medical assitant. Is this on my background when I apply for jobs because I been applying to several jobs with very few call backs for interviews I have several applications on file with the hospital I been applying to.

    • I will email you privately regarding this issue. I will have to ask you some questions regarding your specific situation, and, out of respect for your privacy, would prefer not to do so publicly.

  2. My soon to be 20 yr old son entered a non adjudicated plea, was told that in 5 years record would be expunged. He was told he would be put in the RID program. Well, that was two years ago and we have not heard anything about the RID program (thank goodness). My question is, is this on his record as a felony? he has been on job interviews with no luck.

    • A record is never automatically expunged. The person who was charged with the crime has to go back to the judge who presided over the case and file a petition for expungement. It’s not something the Court’s going to do for you automatically.

  3. Curt,

    What Happens to the arrest record with the FBI and NCIC after a successful expungement order has been completed? Since the County and State reports this information, it should be removed from all records, correct?

  4. I am 19 years old and I was told by a police officer at the scene of my DUI arrest that I could plead guilty and go through the nonadjudication process. Will it affect the judgement of the judge if I do not have a lawyer? We were told not to worry about it but I just want to make sure that it’s not something I should be concerned with.

    • Sarah, when a person is charged with a crime, it is never wise to go to Court and represent without a lawyer. There are just too many bad things that can happen. I’m a criminal defense lawyer, but if I ever got charged with a crime, there is no way I would go to Court without a lawyer to represent me.

      The officer may have meant what he said to you about nonadjudication. However, if this is your first appearance in Court, odds are the officer will not be in Court. Your first appearance is an arraignment (where you enter your plea). Officers typically do not come to arraignments. If he is not there, neither the prosecutor nor the judge will have any verification of what he told you about nonadjudication.

      Nonadjudication is not automatic. The prosecutor will have to agree to place you on nonadjudication. You will be forced to try to negotiate with a prosecutor who likely will not have the time and/or inclination to discuss the case with you. Arraignment days are hectic, and things move fast.

      Even if you are able to get the prosecutor to agree, you will then have to convince the judge that nonadjudication is appropriate in your case. Again, because this is an arraignment day, the judge will be moving quickly through the docket to move cases through the system.

      As I said before, I would never recommend that someone go to Court and attempt to represent themselves. If you need further information, you can email me at curt@thecrowleylawfirm.com, or call me at 601.944.1984. I don’t charge for an initial consultation, so feel free to call. I will be happy to answer any questions you have.

      Curt

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