One of the most common questions we get from people who’ve been arrested or charged with a crime is Am I Going to Go to Jail?
That is a completely understandable concern. Most people have no idea how the criminal justice system works, and what a typical penalty is if you are convicted of a crime.
And the statutes for most misdemeanor offenses does read “penalties up to 1 year in jail”. That can be terrifying to read and contemplate.
But the honest truth is, for someone charged with a 1st offense misdemeanor, being sentenced to jail time in extremely unlikely.
It almost never happens.
If you are one of our typical clients, who has never been in trouble with the law before, and faced with a misdemeanor offense like assault, drug possession, OUI, leaving the scene or an accident, or shoplifting, there is almost no chance you will be sentenced to jail time if you are convicted of the charge.
The penalty is there for judges to use in extreme or rare cases, so barring some extremely unusual facts or situations, you should not have to worry about this.
When you tell me about the facts of your case in a consultation, I can tell you what a typical penalty is for a charge and circumstances like that. For misdemeanors, you are much more typically looking at probation, and possibly some court imposed counseling for anger management or drug and alcohol abuse treatment.
Charges Where Jail Time is Possible
If you have a previous offense or violate the terms of your probation, then it is more of a possibility that a judge could sentence you to jail time. Some violations, such as Operating on a Suspended License after an OUI have a mandatory sentence of 60 days in jail if you are found guilty of that offense.
And, more serious charges like felonies, or cases where someone is seriously injured as a result of a crime have a much higher likelihood of these serious consequences.
Find Out What You Are Facing in A Free Consultation
I represent clients accused of all kinds of criminal offenses in Massachusetts courts, and only a small percentage are ever at risk of spending time in jail.
Please call me and I’ll give you the real deal, and tell you exactly how serious your situation is, and what I can do for you to beat the charges, or work out the best deal possible that avoids jail time.
Call attorney Russell Matson at (781) 817-6332 for a free and confidential consultation on any Massachusetts criminal charge or arrest.