Probation Violations

If you have been convicted of a crime and the court has made probation part of your sentence, knowing the rules of probation and following them are your first defense. But if something has happened, and your probation is at risk, you must hire a Massachusetts Criminal Probation Violations Lawyer to fight to protect your freedom.

The attorney is an experienced and aggressive probation violation/surrender attorney who will fight to defend you. As a former Assistant District Attorney, she knows how the probation system works. She knows that it is not always easy to follow every single rule of the probation sentence and that a single slip up deserves another try.

If you are accused of violating your probation, for whatever the reason, you must go back to court and meet with the judge and your probation officer. You may face increased jail time, have to pay a large fine, or be required to follow a series of even stricter probation requirements.

Procedures That Must Be Followed For a Probation Violation Hearing In Massachusetts

Massachusetts probation violations are governed by the case of Commonwealth v. Durling, 407 Mass. 108 (1990). If your probation officer decides that you have not been following the conditions of probation imposed by the Court, he or she is required to give you written notice of the violation. Any alleged violation must be in writing and you have the right to have a preliminary hearing.

At the preliminary hearing the officer states the reason for the violation. Because the defendant’s liberty is potentially at stake, he or she is entitled to an attorney. In the event a judge finds that there may be a violation, a final surrender date is set.

Defending a Probation Surrender

The most common causes for a surrender hearing are that the defendant was rearrested or did not comply with a condition of probation. If the reason is a new arrest, the probation department must demonstrate that a new arrest has occurred. The rules of evidence are relaxed in a probation violation hearing and the defendant is not extended the same rights that he or she would receive at trial. In short, the probation department must present reliable evidence that a new offense occurred. An experienced Massachusetts attorney should prepare the case and argue that the evidence is not “reliable.” Keep in mind that hearsay is admissible in a probation violation hearing. It is important to have an experienced attorney on your side during this type of hearing because the stakes are high—often your liberty is threatened.

In the event that the probation officer claims that conditions have not been followed, a qualified attorney should make sure that the judge actually ordered the condition that the officer claims was not followed.

Your rights are not the same as an ordinary citizen challenging a wrongful arrest. You are subject to a stricter set of guidelines, carried out by tough- minded probation officers and judges. You need experienced Probation Violation/Surrender Criminal Defense Lawyer The attorney to present your situation in the best possible light.

Prior convictions, parole violations and the nature of the act that serves as the basis for the probation surrender in Massachusetts will be taken into account when sentencing is determined. Without a powerful attorney who will gather evidence of your character, your place in the community and the reasons why you should not be sent back to prison, your future and your family may be at risk. If the charges can be reduced or dismissed, you will be on your way back to rebuilding your life. Your protection depends on a lawyer who will build a case that supports you as strongly for a parole violation as for trial.

The attorney will fight hard to protect you at probation surrender hearings and violations hearings, for whatever your situation needs: obtaining an early release from your probation obligations, getting early termination of probation, presumptive release or conditional release supervision and keeping you out of jail. If you have been picked up for a probation violation.