WHAT IS PRE-TRIAL PROBATION OR A GENERAL CONTINUANCE?

WHAT IS PRE-TRIAL PROBATION G.L. c. 276, § 87

Pre-trial Probation or a “General Continuance” is a highly sought criminal disposition (result).  It is a conditional disposition anticipating dismissal of criminal charges.  It basically means that the District Attorney will halt or stop your prosecution in return for you remaining out of trouble (and maybe completing some program or conditions during that set time period as well) and in return, the case is DISMISSED. Normally, the person does not have to even return to court for the entry of the dismissal.

If a person who agrees to Pre-Trial probation fails to comply, the remedy is for the case to be returned to the active court docket at which time the person charged can defend the criminal accusation, to include a full jury trial. Lastly, the most attractive component to this disposition is that the person charged NEVER admits to any wrongdoing, which is essential for criminal records and other challenges such as immigration and licenses other collateral consequences. ##

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