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No Probation Violation Found

August 2018

Our client was facing a probation violation in Massachusetts with the possibility of a jail sentence. When receiving a probation violation, our client had the right to have a hearing where the Probation Department would have to prove by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not) that our client violated a condition of their probation. 

After choosing to exercise their right to a hearing, our client was found to have “No Violation” of their probation.

It was alleged that our client was in violation of their probation conditions by not completing certain programs that were a condition of their probation. However, we were able to present evidence that our client was having medical issues that made it impossible for him to complete the programs. 

The issue for the hearing, which we argued successfully, was that the violation was not willful. There is case law in Massachusetts that says a violation of probation must be willful and the terms of probation must be doable for the probationer. 

For example, in Commonwealth v. Canadyan, a homeless probationer who failed to comply with his probation conditions in regard to GPS monitoring — because the shelter where he lived could not accommodate the GPS technology — could not be violated due to the violation not being willful. 458 Mass. 574 (2010). 

At the end of the hearing, the Judge also granted our request to change our client's probation conditions so that they could have time to get healthy before being brought back to court again for a probation violation. 

Practice area(s): Criminal Defense

David Ellison

David Ellison, Criminal Defense Lawyer and Personal Injury Lawyer in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, is an aggressive, honest & affordable attorney. 

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