Probation Laws Massachusetts
Probation is ordered by the Court to ensure that a defendant adheres to any sentence imposed upon a defendant. The concept of probation originated in Boston in 1841 when a local shoemaker offered to care for and rehabilitate a drunkard. The concept developed into the current system of releasing a defendant on specific behavioral conditions, and has him supervised by an agent of the Court, a probation officer (PO).
Being placed on probation is, many times, an appropriate resolution to a criminal charge. The defendant is ordered to comply with specific conditions within a specific period of time. If the defendant is successful, his or her matter will be dismissed. If the defendant fails to comply with the terms of probation, a number of things can happen.
If you fail to comply with any term of probation, and you do not communicate with your PO or attorney, the following will likely occur:
- Your PO can request from the Court, and will likely receive, a warrant for your arrest
- Your PO can serve you with a Notice of Surrender and seek to have you detained in jail
- Your PO can request to extend the termination date of probation
- Your PO can request to amend and add to the terms of your probation
It is imperative that you consult with your attorney if you are placed on probation or if you have violated probation. You receive a copy of the terms of probation. You should read them carefully, and consult with your attorney or PO if you have any questions or don't understand something.
Violating the terms of your probation can result in a harsher sentence, jail, additional terms, additional fees, and more.
The outcome of your case will depend on many factors including, but not limited to, your previous criminal history, whether you are currently on probation, the amount of injury or damages to the complaining witness, etc. An experienced attorney will be familiar with all the players – the Assistant District Attorneys who represent the Commonwealth and complaining witness, the probation officers, and the judges – the procedures and likely dispositions available to you. Kathleen A. Delaney, Esq. is an experienced attorney familiar with the District Court process and players.
Call or email her for a complimentary consultation - 781.935.7100