Being charged with a crime in Massachusetts is not only a scary and potentially overwhelming event, but it is also something that opens up the door to an array of complex legal proceedings to come. Following an arrest, these proceedings are kicked off with a pretrial detention hearing. At The Law Office of Paul R. Moraski, our criminal defense attorney can help you to understand the pre-trial process, as well as things like pre-trial detention and probation in Massachusetts. As soon as possible after being charged with a crime you should call a lawyer.
What Is Pretrial?
The first thing to understand when thinking about pretrial proceedings, detention, and probation is how the pretrial period is defined. The United States Probation and Pretrial Services Office – District of Massachusetts defines pretrial as “the time period after an individual has been arrested but before they have been convicted of a crime.” During this time period, an individual has a right to plead guilty or not guilty before the court, and a pretrial services officer will start to gather information about the defendant that can be used to inform decisions around releasing the defendant or keeping them in court custody until the trial.
What Is a Pretrial Detention Hearing?
A pretrial detention hearing is a very important part of the criminal process. During a pretrial detention hearing, the judge assigned to the case will decide whether or not the defendant should be granted pretrial release. If granted pretrial release, this means that the defendant will be able to return to their home and community while the trial is pending; if they are not granted pretrial release, then they will be detained until the date of their criminal trial. Factors that can impact whether a judge grants pretrial release include the number of prior arrests, court appearances, and convictions, as well as a defendant’s flight risk.
Understanding Pretrial Supervision/Probation
In the event that the defendant is released following a pretrial hearing, they will be placed under pretrial supervision, sometimes called pretrial probation. During a pretrial probation period, the defendant will be supervised by the pretrial services officer. The purpose of this supervision is to ensure that the defendant is not a threat or danger to their community, that they attend all required court hearings, and that any other conditions of their release are met. The terms of release can vary from person-to-person, but usually lasts a few months or until the defendant is found not guilty in an actual trial. If the defendant is found guilty or pleads guilty, then they will continue to be supervised until sentencing.
Call The Law Office of Paul R. Moraski Today
Understanding the criminal process and what your rights are during each stage of the process, including during pretrial proceedings, can be complicated. At The Law Office of Paul R. Moraski, our experienced criminal defense attorney will provide guidance, support, and legal help every step of the way with the intent of improving your case outcome. To learn more about our Massachusetts criminal defense attorney and your rights, call today at (978) 397-0011 or send us a message using the contact form on our website.