Mass. General Laws c.279 § 6B

Consideration of defendant’s status as primary caregiver of dependent child before imposing sentence

Table of Contents


Added by St.2018, c. 69, § 207, effective July 12, 2018


As used in this section the following words shall, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, have the following meanings:--

“Dependent child”, a person under 18 years of age.

“Primary caretaker of a dependent child”, a parent with whom a child has a primary residence.


Unless a sentence of incarceration is required by law, the court may, upon conviction, consider the defendant’s status as a primary caretaker of a dependent child before imposing a sentence. A defendant may request such consideration, by motion supported by an affidavit, not more than 10 days after the entry of judgment. Upon receipt of such a motion supported by an affidavit, the court shall make written findings concerning the defendant’s status as a primary caretaker of a dependent child and alternatives to incarceration. If such a motion has been filed, the court shall not impose a sentence of incarceration without first making such written findings.



Within Massachusetts only

Within Massachusetts only


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Last updated: June 12, 2019