Probation Violation

Should I Have an Attorney at my Probation Violation Hearing?

In Massachusetts, I would say you’re basically crazy if you don’t have an attorney represent you in a probation violation. As a matter of fact, very often, you have an absolute right to be represented and if you can’t afford an attorney you’re indigent and the court will assign you somebody. But, the fact is, even if that’s not the case, and you don’t qualify for court-appointed counsel, you’ve got to have an attorney that’s experienced in dealing with probation violation hearings. They’re animals in and of themselves, different from other criminal cases. And, without that representation, you’re probably going on a voyage.

Can I Avoid Jail After a Probation Violation in Massachusetts?

It is absolutely possible to be incarcerated after a probation surrender hearing. What’s going to make the difference? Frankly, your defense, because the facts are really quite simple. You’ve violated probation. Now, with the right representation you can perhaps show that one, you didn’t violate it or you didn’t mean to violate it, or there’s a particular reason that you violated it, and here’s the reason that it won’t happen again. You need an experienced attorney, who’s handled probation violations, to realize how to defend you, because it’s different from other criminal cases.

Is It a Probation Violation to Leave the State of Massachusetts?

If you’re on probation in Massachusetts, you have to do what the probation officer tells you to do. If it appears to you to be something unreasonable, you can hire counsel, you can bring it before the judge. But absenting that, you have to do what the probation officer tells you to do. That includes, whether or not you can leave the state. Usually, depending on the circumstances, you can, but you can’t do it unless probation knows and has okayed it, otherwise it is a probation violation.

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