What is a “Stay of Adjudication?”
If you have received a stay of adjudication and are confused as to what that means, here is an explanation.
A stay of adjudication means you have entered a guilty plea, but that plea has not been entered into the record. Think of this as your guilty plea being placed on a shelf for the time being. Thus, there is no conviction on your record and no sentence to be served – your conviction and sentence are “stayed.” Instead, the judge has placed you on a period of probation – generally a few months or years. You must comply with the law and any conditions of your probation such as fine payments, regular drug testing, no drug use, etc. Completion of your probation period without a violation will result in your case being dismissed. This means there will be no record of any conviction on your record when members of the public or future employers look up your criminal record. (It is important to distinguish that records of your offense still exist, including that you pleaded guilty, but you will not have a record showing a conviction). However, if a probation violation occurs, the judge may revoke your stay of adjudication and impose the sentence that was previously “stayed” at which time a conviction can be entered.