Probation Violations/Surrender Hearings

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Boston Probation Attorneys

When a defendant is placed on probation, he or she makes an agreement with the court to abide by certain conditions or court orders. Many times, these conditions of probation coincide both with the charges of the offense and the treatment the court deems necessary following the disposition of the criminal case. For example, a defendant placed on probation following the disposition of an assault and battery case may be ordered to take a Certified Batter’s Program as a condition of probation. The court may also order the defendant to stay away from the alleged victim. Likewise, a defendant charged with OUI or possession of a controlled substance may be ordered to attend AA and/or NA meetings and be subject to random drug testing.

When a judge issues the conditions, the defendant must abide by every condition and term of probation. Believe it or not, although these conditions appear to be easy to abide by, transportation issues, financial hardships, and other circumstances may result the inability to abide by the prescribed conditions. This results in a probation violation: an offense for which the individual on probation may be arrested and brought before the court for a surrender hearing.

Surrender Hearings

At the initial probation surrender hearing, the offender’s probation officer will recite the alleged facts to persuade the court that the offender violated a term or condition of probation. The judge will then determine whether or not probable cause exists to believe that the offender did in fact violate.

Should the judge find that probable cause exists, the material issue at the violation hearing is whether or not the judge will order the defendant to be held in custody until the final surrender hearing. If the alleged violation is egregious in nature or if the defendant presents a danger to himself/herself or the public, the judge may order the defendant to be held.

At the final surrender hearing, the probation officer will present evidence, possibly witnesses, and a full hearing will be conducted. The attorney for the defendant may also present evidence, call witnesses on behalf of the defendant, and may cross-examine probation witnesses as well.

Many times, the evidence that probation was violated weighs heavily against the defendant. This is because the burden of proof is only “probable cause that probation was violated.” As such, the court will determine whether or not the defendant should go to jail and serve out a sentence, re-probate the defendant, or re-probate and extend probation. Therefore, when the evidence in favor of a probation violation is overwhelming, it may be in the defendant’s best interest to stipulate to the violation, and have the defense attorney lobby for re-probate.

Professional Defense Attorneys

At Kelly & Soto Law, our attorneys are experienced in probation violation hearings and have procured beneficial results for our clients in these types of matters. If you have been charge with violating a condition of your probation, call us and set up a free consultation with one of criminal defense attorneys. We would be happy to discuss your options and possible dispositions of your criminal matter.

Call 1-617-807-0840 to speak with a criminal defense attorney today!