If you or a loved one is placed on probation in Massachusetts and receive a violation notice, it is important that you contact an experienced Massachusetts Criminal Defense lawyer to help you with this violation. These probation violations can have devastating effects and can lead to prison sentences fairly quick if you are not careful. Attorney David Ellison has experience handling many probation violations in his career.
When a person is placed on probation for their sentence in Massachusetts -- either through a guilty finding or a Continuance Without a Finding (“CWOF”) -- they agree to abide by certain conditions set forth by the Court. These probation conditions can include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Attend a certain treatment program for drugs or alcohol
- Comply with testing for drugs or alcohol
- Make payments for different types of fees or restitution
- Attend classes for domestic violence
- Report to a probation officer
- Seek and maintain employment
- Comply with a stay away and/or no contact order
- Obey all state and federal laws.
When Does Probation Start in Massachusetts?
A person can be placed on probation as a resolution to their Massachusetts criminal case. They are sentenced to be on probation after either a Guilty finding, or a Continuance Without a Finding (“CWOF”). The sentencing judge sets the terms of the probation and a “probationer” -- a person who is placed on probation -- must comply with them. Each probationer is supervised by a Probation Officer to be sure they remain compliant with the terms of their probation. If the probationer does not comply, their PO may issue a Notice of Violation of Probation, which may result in significant penalties, including an extension of the probation term, additional probation conditions, or jail time.*
*Note- If you are on a CWOF, the promise of a dismissal at the end of your probation period could turn into a Guilty on your record as a result of a probation violation.
What Happens When I am Issued a Violation by my Probation Officer?
A Massachusetts Probation Officer may issue a violation to a probationer who does not comply with any term(s) of their probation. Probation violations are very serious with potentially devastating consequences. You have the right to have an attorney represent you during the probation violation process. We regularly handle many different probation violations and hearings at a given time. It is important to have an experienced probation violation attorney help handle your probation violation.
If you receive notice of a probation violation, you are entitled to a hearing. There are a range of penalties that could result from a probation violation hearing, including additional conditions of probation, a Guilty finding on your record, and even jail time. Further, the standard of proof is lower at a probation violation hearing than at a criminal trial, which makes it important to have an attorney represent you. An experienced probation violation attorney can help you navigate the probation violation process and speak on your behalf for you.
What Happens At a Massachusetts Probation Violation Hearing?
If you have a Final Surrender Hearing in Massachusetts, you will be given notice of a date for a hearing. At a Massachusetts probation violation hearing, it is broken down into two parts. First, the judge needs to determine whether the probationer has committed a violation. This can be done with a hearing with evidence or the probationer can admit to a violation.
If the judge determines that the person violated their probation, then they move onto the second part. At the second part, the judge must determine the sentencing of the probationer. This can happen fairly quick and they will take into account certain factors, such as, the person's criminal record, how many other violations they have had, the nature of the violation, and the nature of the the case they are on probation for. The judge can also consider any mitigating factors. From there, the judge can sentence the person depending on what their disposition was that they are on probation for. It is important to have an experienced Massachusetts criminal defense lawyer by your side every step of the way throughout this process.
If you or a loved one has a pending probation violation, it is important to contact an experienced probation violation attorney. Do not hesitate to contact Attorney David Ellison today at 401-230-5520