Skip to main content

Chances for misdemeanor dismissal?

Fairbanks, AK |

Last month I was summoned to court for no valid drivers liscence and possession in the sixth degree. (A very small amount of marijuana ) I have never been in trouble with the law before and have a spotless criminal record. I have since gotten my liscence and am awaiting arraignment. I am too broke to afford a lawyer so must rely on a public defender. What are my chances for dismissal in whole or atleast part. I have done my research on things like deferment and probation so I have an idea what to expect in terms of sentencing but here in lies the problem. I currently live in section 8 housing and ANY drug charges can get me evicted. What are my chances for dismissal in whole or atleast part?

+ Read More

Attorney answers 3


Let your PD know what your situation is regarding section 8 housing. Given your lack of criminal record, you could probably get a supervision on the no license and a dismissal of the weed charge. But only your PD will know the local court situation, so confer with him/her.


In Alaska, you may qualify for a public defender if your annual income is below a threshold level, and if the offense carries any possibility of jail time. If you live in Section 8 housing, you likely qualify for a public defender, so make sure you ask the judge to appoint one.

If you have a clean record, most District or Municipal attorneys in Alaska will at least offer you what is known as a Suspended Imposition of Sentence, or SIS. What this requires is for you to plead to at least one of the charges, sentencing will be deferred, and you will be required to fulfill some probation-like requirements.

If you fulfill the requirements and have no further offenses for a year, the conviction will be "set-aside," leaving you will no conviction on your record.

Most Section 8 landlords had many tenants in your situation; it is not likely they will evict you for an SIS plea, but you should check with your landlord first.


One of the most common questions asked of a lawyer is "what are my chances of a dismissal". It is also one of the most difficult to answer because it is dependent on so many factors. The facts of the case set the stage for the case because they determine the odds of conviction. Just as important are the players, i.e. the prosecutor and defense attorney. The relationship that the defense attorney has with the prosecutors is very important. Do they get along? Another factor is the character of the accused. The defense attorney will often get character reference letters for the accused that will help influence the prosecutor. The good thing about your charges is they aren't the type that would be considered as representative of a bad person or poor character. Licensing violations are common, as are possessions of small amounts of marijuanna. It would seem that the prosecutor would work with your attorney to prevent a conviction or perhaps reduce or change the crime to one that would not interfere with your housing.