Can a first-time offender avoid jail time?

On Behalf of | Aug 6, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

Each state has certain laws that are unique to its jurisdiction, and Massachusetts is clearly in this category with respect to drug possession. While those who have had prior trouble with the law regarding drugs are not eligible for a case deferment, those who have a clean record could well be eligible for a case dismissal under certain conditions.

Judicial latitude in avoiding a conviction

The possibility of avoiding jail time is not an automatic adjudication even when factors are positive. Judges do have the latitude to evaluate any agreement between the attorneys. However, when all conditions exist for qualification of a deferment until a probationary period has been completed, the potential for dismissal is available. Of course, when there is no conviction after a successful defense presentation, there is no associated jail time.

Qualifying for a deferred prosecution or case dismissal

The statute controlling this legal outcome is extensively worded, but for the conditions to apply, it comes down to requiring a clean record with respect to previous drug activity. Individuals do indeed get caught up with other nefarious activities in some cases, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts recognizes this consideration for some defendants. An aggressive and experienced criminal defense attorney can conduct a thorough background report for presentation to the court along with the request for ordering the probation deferment, including sealing of the record after the fact.

While all circumstances surrounding the case can have an impact on the final outcome, a plea agreement with the prosecutor can mean avoiding a trial. Although any defendant brought to trial may be found guilty, you won’t automatically be facing jail time in Massachusetts when arrested on a simple drug charge, especially if it is your first offense.


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