Probation in Massachusetts

In Criminal Law by John Tramontozzi

Probation in Massachusetts allows you to return to society, but there are certain restrictions to your freedom. There are different types of probation and specific terms that may apply. The following is a general overview of some common probation terms.

Reasons for Probation in MA

Probation may be granted as an alternative to jail time. Most defendants are thankful to receive probation as the alternative would be much worse. The length of probation will vary depending on the crime and applicable laws.

Types of Probation in Massachusetts

There are a few different types of probation. The two most common are unsupervised and supervised. Unsupervised probation is normally granted for minor crimes. It typically requires some type of informal check-in such as mailing a postcard every so often with certain information. Supervised probation requires check-in with a probation officer at specific intervals either by phone or in-person (as determined ahead of time).

Terms of MA Probation

A judge will determine the specific terms of probation and will often consider the crime and other circumstances. There are normally statutory limits to the duration of promotion, but judges have flexibility on most of the other terms. Some common restrictions are:

  • Restricted Travel
  • Alcohol and/or Drug Testing
  • Community Service
  • Counseling (for Substance Abuse, Anger Management, etc.)
  • Prohibited Possession of Firearms and/or Restricted Substances
  • Prohibited Access to Certain Locations
  • Avoiding Committing Additional Crimes

Completion or Revocation of MA Probation

If you comply with the terms of your probation, then your case will be closed. If you violate any of the terms, there will be a hearing to determine whether your probation shall be revoked. You may testify at this hearing and also present witnesses to help plead your case. Since your freedom is at stake, it is important to take this hearing very seriously. If there is sufficient evidence showing that you violated probation, you may be sentenced to jail time (or if you received probation in lieu of prison time, you may be ordered to serve that time).

MA Probation Attorney

It is important to understand the full terms of your MA probation to begin with. Consult with your attorney if you are unclear about it. Should you be in danger of getting your probation revoked, be sure to contact your attorney for representation during any hearings.  For a free initial consultation, contact John Tramontozzi at 617-543-3951.