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I have a copy of my juvenile case file and im trying to understand it.

Brockton, MA |

I got charged with possession with intent to distibute a class E and C and a school zone violation it says in docket text continued without a finding then found facts sufficient to warrant a finding I was given probation and community service and final line on docket text says dismisal of charges with a final disposition of dismissed. Does this mean I was given a deferred sentence?

Attorney Answers 6

  1. Continued without a finding means that you admitted to guilt but were given probation, so there was not a "guilty" disposition. You were basically given a second chance, and successfully completed the probation, so the case was dismissed. This is different than a deferred (suspended) sentence, because on a CWOF there was no specific penalty (sentence) identified. On a suspended sentence, if you violate the probation, the sentence is automatically imposed immediately. On a CWOF, the court has a choice of whether to bring the case back and sentence you.

    Providing users with information is not intended to create an attorney/client relationship. However, if in reading my response, you are interested in retaining me to represent you, please do not hesitate to contact me.

  2. A continuance with output a finding means that you admitted there was enough evidence for a finding of guilty to wnter, however, the court did not enter the finding of guilty. They allowed you to complete probation, and when you successfully completed the probabtion, the matter was dismissed.

  3. You may want to consult the attorney who represented you in the matter for a full understanding of what the docket sheet lists but from what you have stated, it seems that the charges were dismissed either after you completed your probation and community service or in lieu of being charged you were given probation and community service. If you were given a deferred sentence, the docket sheet most likely would not stated dismissed as the final disposition of your case. Again, you may want to check with your attorney. Best of luck.

    The above is NOT legal advice, and is NOT intended to be legal advice. No Attorney-Client relationship is created through the above answer.

  4. You received a continuation without a finding, which is often referred to as a CWOF. This is where you admit that you may be found guilty or delinquent in your case, but the Court does not impose any such finding on the case. Instead you are placed on probation for a period of time with certain conditions. If you complete probation without incident, then the case is dismissed. This is not considered a conviction. You may still answer honestly that you have not been convicted of a crime. Further, if is a juvenile court adjudication, most will not have access to the record of it. However, keep in mind that many government officials, such as the police and courts will have such access to the records.

    If there is a specific reason for your question, such as how to answer questions on a job or school application, it would be best to consult with a local attorney. I say this because depending on the way the questions are phrased on the application you may or may not have to provide information concerning this juvenile court incident.

    I hope this helps. Good Luck.

    Mike Contant
    (617) 227-8383

  5. make sure and get an experienced criminal attorney because there might be rules that preclude the juvenile conviction to follow you with your future convictions-if there are any.

  6. A CWOF that was ultimately dismissed is like a deferred sentence, although the term deferred sentence is not a term commonly used in MA. The way a CWOF works is that you admit to sufficient fact to warrant a finding of guilty (not actually plead guilty), and are placed on probation. if you successfully complete probation, the charges against you get dismissed. No conviction enters. If you had plead guilty, on the other hand, and were given probation, you could complete probation and you would still be guilty/be convicted of the crime.

    Note that a CWOF that was dismissed does NOT mean that the charge is expunged or sealed from your record upon the dismissal.

    Good luck,

    Dominic Pang (617-538-1127)

    Disclaimer: This answer is provided for informational purposes only and it is not intended as legal advice. Additionally, this answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you wish to obtain legal advice specific to your case, please consult with a local attorney.

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