Have you been arrested in Boston? It’s important to learn your options and important terms that might come up along the way. Those who have been charged with a crime may have heard the term continuance without a finding. A continuance without a finding (CWOF) without a finding (CWOF) is technically not a conviction, but rather an alternative to a guilty finding, where you can complete probation as your penalty for the crime.
In a continuance without a finding, an accused person admits that the state could potentially prove evidence against them, but that they are not found guilty by the court. Instead of being found guilty, the individual is then put on probation, and a judge can place other penalties on this individual if they so choose. Once the probation and other penalties are completed, the case is dismissed.
It seems like a beneficial deal, and it potentially can be for some, but a continuance without finding does come with some risks. If someone violates the conditions of their CWOF, they are not eligible to go to trial like other accused people normally would. Instead, the individual already admitted that the case could be proven with the current evidence. So, if someone violates their probation or conditions of their continuance without a finding, they will be sentenced right away and may even potentially serve an incarceration sentence.
Does A Conviction WIthout Finding Affect My Immigration Status?
For those with legal citizen status, a continuance without a finding does not necessarily count as a formal conviction. However, a CWOF does count as a conviction for immigration purposes. Those who are not legal citizens of the United States will run the risk of being removed from the country or not being permitted to re-enter the country once they leave.
If you are not a legal citizen of the United States and you receive a continuance without finding, it is similar to if you just pled guilty to a crime and were formally sentenced for the charges. This may be confusing to some, so schedule a free consultation with a Boston criminal defense lawyer if you have any initial questions about how this process works.
Furthermore, a CWOF counts as a conviction for immigration purposes. If you are not a citizen, then, getting one can lead to the removal or not being allowed back into the country. It is just as if you plead guilty and are sentenced. Getting arrested for a criminal charge can greatly impact your immigration status. If you or someone you love has been accused of a crime and is worried about their immigration status, contact Toland Law today. If a continuance without a finding can be pursued, and it makes sense for your case and immigration status, our legal team will provide you with the best options for moving forward.
Why Should I Agree To A Continuance Without A Finding?
Sometimes, it makes sense to agree to a continuance without a finding. Agreeing to a continuance without a finding may help in cases where a guilty finding would change your life for the worse. Some people find that they would have a hard time finding a job, passing a background check, or having stable relationships. A continuance without a finding makes a difference for certain things that involve security clearances, like buying a gun or receiving certain types of financial aid.
If you are facing a criminal charge in Massachusetts and are curious if you are eligible to pursue a continuance without a finding, contact a criminal defense law firm helping clients with criminal cases today and schedule a free case evaluation regarding the specifics of your situation. Every case is different, but a continuance without finding may be a beneficial tool for the outcome of your case. If it’s an applicable defense strategy for you to take, our legal representatives will advise you and guide you with what to do.
Schedule A Free Case Evaluation With A Boston Criminal Defense Lawyer Today To Minimize Your Penalties After A Criminal Charge
A Boston criminal defense lawyer may be able to help you secure a continuance without a finding for your case if it makes sense for the outcome of your case. Generally speaking, your criminal case must be relatively minor and nonviolent for Massachusetts state court to impose a CWOF. Our legal professionals at Toland Law will analyze the facts of your case to see if this unique option applies to your case.
Not all Boston lawyers offer a free criminal case evaluation for those charged with a crime. At Toland Law, however, we offer a free consultation for any Massachusetts resident in need of criminal defense.