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What is a CWOF?

The letters C-W-O-F stand for "continuance without a finding." In order to receive a CWOF, the Defendant must admit to sufficient facts for a finding of guilty. One benefit of a CWOF is that for certain crimes the punishment may include a period of probation instead of jail time. When a person is placed on probation the judge orders the conditions of probation. If you are found to have violated the conditions of your probation, then you may be sentenced up to the maximum allowed. For some crimes, a CWOF involves a shorter suspension or revocation of driver's license.

Because a CWOF is an admission to sufficient facts for a finding of guilty, a CWOF is treated as a conviction of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt under United States federal law.

The federal consequences of a CWOF are particularly important for people accused of a crime involving drugs and firearms. A CWOF counts as a predicate offense for federal sentencing. This can expose repeated offenders to heavy mandatory minimums.

The federal consequences of any CWOF are very important for a person who is not a United States citizen.

As of January 14, 2016 it is a fair statement of the law that a CWOF is a guilty for immigration purposes.