Probation Violation Conditions of Release

Probation Violation Conditions of Release

District courts in Massachusetts will be changing the rules on Conditions of Release at probation violation hearings. These changes will go into effect this December. Since they may impact you or a loved one it is important to understand what will be different. Here is the new procedure.

What is a Probation Violation?

If you admit to a crime or are found guilty of a crime you are generally, but not always, placed on probation. When you are on probation you need to follow certain rules. Conditions of Probation are these rules. If you don't follow the rules you get notified that you are in violation.

What Happens When You Violate Your Conditions of Probation?

First, a judge or probation officer will determine if you have violated your Conditions of Probation. After you are notified you will go to court for a preliminary hearing to determine if you should be taken into custody. If the probation department requests that you be taken into custody, they will need to establish that there is probable cause to believe a violation occurred.

Even if the court determines that there is probable cause, there is a possibility that they will not detain you. Instead, the court may let you go if you follow a new set of rules called Conditions of Release.

What Are Conditions of Release?

If you follow your conditions of release you will stay out of jail before the final hearing. So, the court will only allow non-monetary conditions of release if they decided to detain you pending a final hearing. Your conditions of release could include anything listed here:

  • No contact. You may not contact a specific person or people, over the phone, in person, electronically, or in writing.
  • Stay away. You need to keep a certain distance away from a person, people, or locations.
  • Report as directed. You need to report to the probation departed at certain times and days to check in with them.
  • Electronic monitoring. This could include house arrest, curfew, or exclusion zones.
  • Required residence. You must live or stay at a specific address.
  • Abstinence and testing. You must stop consuming illegal and non-prescribed drugs and/or alcohol. You will be tested to ensure that you are clean.
  • Motor Vehicle Restrictions. You may not drive a vehicle at certain times, dates, or other conditions.

Remember that the court may assign you only one of these conditions or a combination. What you are assigned will depend on how serious your probation violation is.

What Happens If You Violate Your Conditions of Release?

If the court or probation department determines that you violated your conditions of release you may be summons or called to go back to court for another hearing. If there is probable cause, you may even be arrested.

When this hearing occurs the court will determine if there is probable cause to believe you violated your Conditions of Release. If they determine there was, the court may order you to be detained until your probation violation hearing is completed.

Conditions of Release are NOT the same as Conditions of Probation

Remember that Conditions of Release and Conditions of Probation are not the same thing. The difference is that the court could order Conditions of Release only after a probation violation occurs. If you are fortunate enough to not be taken into custody after a probation violation, it is important to do your best not to violate a condition of release so you do not end up in jail.

When is Your Final Probation Violation Hearing?

Unless there are special reasons, you will typically go to court within 30 days after the preliminary hearing for a final hearing on your probation violation. Your lawyer will speak with the probation department and present evidence on your behalf during this hearing. The court will then make a final determination on if you should be punished for a probation violation.

IF YOU OR A LOVED ONE HAVE BEEN ARRESTED, 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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