The short answer, in many instances, is probably not. The long answer, as you might expect, is it depends. It depends on the county in which you were charged because in most instances the more rural the county the more likely the Commonwealth is to be seeking a penalty of incarceration.
It also depends on the crime and whether there are legislatively mandated mandatory minimum sentences. Most notably, I am specifically referring to Driving Under the Influence, which does carry mandatory minimum jail sentences in many cases. It can also depend on the prosecutor who is assigned your case as each have a different approach to handling and disposing of their cases.
It probably comes as little surprise that it also depends on the seriousness of the offense and an individual’s prior record. There is a matrix or sentencing guideline courts use to determine a sentence range. What they do is use a matrix which has your prior record score across the top and the offense gravity score running top to bottom on the left. It works the same way as the Super Bowl quarterly scoring pools people are often so familiar with.
The Court then cross references both, which gives the judge a sentencing range. Within that range the Court also has the option to go into both the “aggravated” and “mitigated” range depending on the specific facts and circumstances of your case.
Lastly, it almost always depends on the attorney you have and his or her understanding of these and other, often very nuanced and complicated circumstances.