Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Monday, March 23, 2015

Jenkins: Adjudication withheld "conviction" certified to Florida Supreme Court

In U.S. v. Jenkins, No. 13-15874 (March 17, 2015), the Court certified to the Florida Supreme Court the question whether, under Florida law, a guilty plea for a felony for which adjudication was withheld qualifies as a “conviction.” Jenkins’ conviction for being a felon in possession of a firearm depended on whether his prior guilty plea with adjudication withheld to the Florida offense of possession of cocaine qualified as “conviction” under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g). The Court recognized its own prior precedent holding that a prior Florida conviction with adjudication withheld qualified as a conviction, but also recognized contrary indications from two lower appellate courts in Florida, and from language in Florida Supreme Court decisions. Faced with “conflicting commands,” the Court certified the legal question to the Florida Supreme Court.