Being released from prison can feel like one of the best possible things to happen to someone who’s been convicted of a crime. In some cases, a convicted person may be released from prison before their sentence has been completed, subject to a period of good behavior under supervision—this is known as probation. While probation means that you get out of prison, it does come with a series of rules and regulations that you must adhere to. Here’s an overview of what you should know about probation and probation violations in Massachusetts—
Common Probation Violations
Depending on the terms of your probation, you may be required to do something—or prohibited from doing something—not listed below. That being said, some of the most common probation violations include:
- Failing to report to a probation officer
- Using drugs or alcohol
- Failing to pay court-ordered fines and fees
- Failing to complete community service, apply for a job, or do other acts mandated by the court
- Associating with individuals who violate probation requirements
- Committing a new crime
What Rights Do I Have When Charged with Probation Violation?
Being accused of violating probation can be frustrating, especially if you don’t believe that you did violate your probation or if you believe you had good cause to violate probation. Unfortunately, the court rarely has sympathy for those charged with a probation violation. However, you do have legal rights. If you have been charged with violating your probation, you have the right to receive formal notice of the alleged violation. You also have the right to present your case and cross-examine witnesses at a hearing before a judge. One of the most important rights that you have is the right to work with an attorney throughout the process.
Consequences of a Probation Violation
If the court finds that you have indeed violated your probation, penalties will be assessed. The specific consequences for a probation violation that you may face will likely depend on the specifics of your violation and the original crime for which you are serving time. You may be able to remain on probation but have to pay additional fees or be subjected to stricter probation restrictions. In some cases, your probation may be revoked and you may be forced to return to prison. If you have committed a new crime, you could face additional criminal charges and associated penalties.
How an Attorney Can Help if You’ve Been Accused of Probation Violation
Your attorney will help you throughout the entire process, beginning with providing you with representation during your initial hearing. Your attorney can cross-examine witnesses, present evidence, and work to negotiate a favorable outcome for your case.
At The Law Office of Paul R. Moraski, our skilled probation defense attorney has experience representing clients like you. If you are facing probation violation allegations, call Attorney Paul Moraski directly at (978) 397-0011 for an overview of your legal rights.