58A Dangerous Hearing

58A Dangerous Hearing

A 58A Dangerous Hearing is one of the most powerful tools in the district attorney’s arsenal. Above all, that piece of paper allows the police to hold the defendant in custody. No bail or GPS bracelet. Nothing. A 58A dangerousness motion must be filed at the arraignment. Moreover, the district attorney files this motion if they believe the defendant is a danger to any other person in the community. Certain crimes qualify for 58A. They can be as simple as assault and battery. If a district attorney files a 58A you need to be ready to respond and go on the offensive.

Full Evidentiary Hearing

First, a district attorney has a minimum of three days to prepare for a full evidentiary hearing. The defense can ask for up to seven days. In some cases the defense can ask to hold it longer, for strategic reasons. The minimum three or seven-day delay is to prepare for the full 58A evidentiary hearing.

Furthermore, it is at this hearing that a kind of “mini-trial” takes places. The defense has an opportunity to:

  • Testify if they choose
  • Summons witnesses
  • Cross-examine the government’s witnesses
  • Present documentation related to the case

Second, at that hearing, the normal rules of evidence do not apply. Both parties may offer hearsay evidence, as long as it is reliable. Next, the court considers a number of factors to determine what to do if the person is released:

  • Seriousness of the charges
  • Circumstances and nature of the charges
  • Penalties
  • Employment records
  • History of mental illness
  • Reputation
  • Attempts to obstruct justice
  • Any drug dependencies
  • Other factors (i.e. 209A restraining order)

What else happens at a 58A hearing?

Additionally, a judge will make a decision. The defendant will be:

  • Released
  • Released with conditions
  • Held without bail

Lastly, the judge will find:

  • Whether the person is dangerous
  • Whether there are no conditions of release that could assure the safety of the community

However, if the judge finds no conditions of release, the defendant is held without bail for a minimum of 120 days. Further, if the judge finds some conditions of release, they will be imposed at that time. They could include:

  • Undergoing mental health treatment
  • Staying away from certain people
  • A GPS bracelet
  • Staying drug and alcohol free (including random testing)

Finally, there is an appeal process if you are held without bail called a bail review. In other words, this provides a safety valve for a person found to be dangerous or whose release poses a danger to the community.

IF YOU OR A LOVED ONE HAVE 58A DANGEROUSNESS QUESTION, AND YOU NEED AN EXPERIENCED CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER WORKING ON YOUR SIDE TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS, PLEASE CONTACT CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY WILLIAM J. BARABINO. CALL 781-393-5900 TO LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR AVAILABLE DEFENSES.

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