If you have been arrested for a criminal offense while you are on probation for another criminal case, at your arraignment you may be subject to a request by the probation department to detain you prior to a full probation violation hearing. The probation department can also issue a probation violation notice for so-called “technical” or “non-criminal” violations of probation. For example, a positive drug test result, or failure to complete a court-ordered program.
At a probation detention hearing, the Judge uses it to consider whether there is probable cause to believe that the probationer violated the terms of their probation. Because this is such a low standard, the Judge will often find that the allegations from the probation department meet this threshold. Next the Judge will weigh other factors in determining whether to hold a probationer without bail pending a final surrender hearing. These factors may include:
- the probationer’s criminal record,
- nature of the offense the probationer is on probation for,
- nature of the new charges, if any,
- nature of any other pending probation violations,
- the likelihood the probationer will appear at the probation violating hearing if he/she is not held in custody, and
- the likelihood the probationer will be incarcerated if he/she is found to have violated the terms of his/her probation.
If the judge finds that there is probable cause to believe a probation violation occurred, but does not order the probationer detained until the hearing, the Judge may permit the probationer’s release on certain conditions. These conditions can include stay away/no contact orders, GPS monitoring, alcohol or substance testing, and others.
If the Court finds probable cause to believe that the probationer committed a violation of probation, the probationer is entitled to a hearing within seven days. This right may be waived, but the hearing must be held within thirty days.
Facing a Probation Hearing in MA?
If you are on probation and facing a probation violation notice, or have been charged with a new offense, call McCormack Law today to prepare your strategy to remain out of jail pending your final probation surrender hearing. Ashley knows which factors to highlight for the Court in order to advocate for your release.