On Friday, September 21, Attorney Al Sauline was interviewed by Danielle Ellis on WJHG NBC-7 in Panama City regarding the high-profile case of Greg Wilson, another local attorney.
On Wednesday, September 26, Wilson was pronounced “guilty” of multiple crimes, including third-degree felony charges (namely, possessing contraband while in the Bay County Jail, while helping to facilitate the passing of contraband from one inmate to another inmate) and misdemeanor perjury. His sentencing is scheduled to occur on November 5.
Attorney Sauline Explains the Withholding of Adjudication Option
Even after the Court found Wilson guilty of these offenses, he may not officially be a convicted criminal. During his interview, Attorney Al Sauline explained Florida’s withhold-of-adjudication option, stating, “[This option allows you to] be punished as if you did something but they withhold the finding of guilt which gives you the advantage of saying, 'I'm not a convicted felon, I'm not even a convicted criminal. I'm punished with the sense of Court costs, fines, probation, maybe community service hours but the Judge is withholding that conviction so, therefore, I can honestly tell somebody there was no adjudication of guilt.'”
Attorney Sauline went on to explain, "In a case like this it's normally probation. An individual who has never been in trouble for an offense like this is likely looking at a supervision offense, whether there will be a withhold of adjudication, is something we're all waiting to see."
The Judge’s decision to withhold adjudication in Wilson’s case could prevent him from serving time; however, if sentenced, Wilson could face 5 years in prison and probation.
The Florida Bar is currently investigating Wilson’s case to determine whether he will be allowed to continue practicing law in Florida.
Click here to watch the news report and Attorney Sauline’s interview on WJHG NBC-7.