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Pre-Trial Probation

Under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 276 Section 87, the trial court may place a person on pre-trial probation. Pre-trial probation is a court-approved agreement or contract between the prosecutor and defendant before a trial or a plea of guilty. Under such an agreement, a defendant is placed on probation, in the care of a probation officer, for a certain period of time and under certain conditions before he is convicted of any crime. Probation may be supervised or unsupervised. In return, the charges will be dismissed upon the defendant’s successful completion of his probation. If, on the other hand, the defendant violates any condition of his probation, then the charges will not be dismissed and the case will proceed normally.

I Violated my Pretrial Probation in Massachusetts. Can the Judge Send Me to Jail?

Absolutely not. A defendant cannot be imprisoned for violating his pre-trial probation because he has neither been convicted nor pled guilty to any crime. However, a defendant who violates pre-trial probation can be held with or without bail if the court so decides at a bail hearing.

Can the Conditions of my Pretrial Probation be Modified?

Although a pre-trial probation agreement is entered with the defendant’s consent, the court retains the authority to modify the conditions of probation as long as the change is not the equivalent of a new punishment. Probationary conditions signed by the defendant have no force without the court order, and probation derives enforceability from a court order, not from the defendant’s agreement. Common probationary conditions include participation in rehabilitative programs, performance of community service, periodic reporting to probation and seeking and retaining employment. The court may also modify the time period of probation, provided that it does so within the original probationary period or within a reasonable time after that period has ended.

All conditions of probation must be reasonably related to probationary goals in order to survive constitutional scrutiny. Probationary goals are typically rehabilitative, but they may be punitive, retributive or deterrent.

Pretrial Probation may be the Only Way to Avoid Deportation

Sometimes district attorneys offer a continuance without a finding thinking they are being generous to a defendant. Regardless of their intentions a continuance without a finding (CWOF) might result in deportation. CWOFs are considered convictions for immigration purposes. If you are not an American citizen you should ask your lawyer about this. We have been successful getting prosecutors to agree to pretrial probation in cases where our clients face deportation. Non-citizens charged with minor drug offenses represent a large contingent of people we represent with this problem. We get our clients pretrial probation when necessary.

Pre-trial probation is not widely available, and usually less serious offenses are involved when it is available. It is not an option after a plea or admission. The current economic slump will continue to exacerbate the overcrowded conditions in Massachusetts prisons, and that will doubtlessly result in institutional pressure on practitioners to know the probation system inside and out. In his twenty-years of experience defending criminal charges, Stephen Neyman has gained unparalleled knowledge of probation procedures. If you have any questions regarding pre-trial probation or other criminal matters, call the Law Offices of Stephen Neyman, P.C. at 617-263-6800 or contact us online today. Si usted habla español contacte a nuestro asistente legal Maria Rivera en 617-877-6270.

Case Results >> Pre-Trial Probation
  • Pretrial Probation Under G.L. c. 276 Section 87 for Business Executive Charged With Disorderly Person, Disturbing the Peace and Resisting Arrest

    Our client is a high level business executive with an MBA from one of the best business schools in the country. He relocated to Massachusetts after receiving a promotion to run an international branch of his company. He was invited to a party and unexpectedly became extremely intoxicated and confused. He left the party and drove to the parking lot of a crowded strip mall. His behavior caused alarm and the police were called. As officers approached him he became aggressive and swore at them. He began screaming at the top of his lungs causing a crowd to gather. One of the officers attempted to calm him down. In doing so our client became physically aggressive and needed to be restrained. He was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace, both violations of G.L. c. 272 Section 53 and resisting arrest under G.L. c. 268 Section 32B. He contacted Attorney Neyman to represent him. Any conviction or admission would likely result in this man losing his job. Our office was able to get him pretrial probation under G.L. c. 276 Section 87. The case will be dismissed in six months and this will have no impact on his employment. 

    Read More in G.L. c. 276 Section 87

  • Pretrial Probation Under G.L. c. 276 Section 87 For Three Months for Non-Citizen Law Student Charged With Beating Wife

    The defendant is a third year law student in Boston. He was charged on two occasions with assaulting and beating his wife in violation of G.L. c. 265 Section 13M. The first incident occurred on May 4, 2018. On that date, officers responded to an apartment and found a woman, the defendant's wife, complaining of pain to her ribs. She was dizzy and nauseous as well. She told the police that earlier that day, while walking to the gym her husband grabbed her by the hair and pulled her down the street. When she resisted he struck her in the ribs several times. She lost her breath and consciousness for a brief period of time. A civilian witnessed the incident and reported it to the police. The man was arrested and charged with the crime. About one month later, with the first case pending, the wife again called 911. She reported that the defendant had hit her in the head and then pushed her head into the bedroom wall. Again the defendant was arrested and charged with the same domestic assault and battery offense. The cases were consolidated. Today, Attorney Neyman was able to get pretrial probation under G.L. c. 276 Section 87 for three months. The man, who is a non-citizen will have no record and no immigration problems. Probation will terminate prior to his graduation from law school.

    Read More in Pretrial Probation

  • Pretrial Probation for Non-Citizen Charged With Domestic Assault and Battery

    The defendant is not a citizen. He has several post graduate degrees and is well known in the high tech industry. Several weeks ago his girlfriend accused him of attacking her and beating her. He was charged with domestic assault and battery under G.L. c. 265 Section 13M. Our office was retained to represent the man. We were able to get him pretrial probation pursuant to G.L. c. 276 Section 87. The case will be dismissed after a short term of probation.

    Read More in Pretrial Probation

Client Reviews
"We went to trial and won. He saved me fifteen years mandatory in state prison for this case." A.C. Boston, Massachusetts
"I hired him and he got the case dismissed before I had to go into a courtroom. My school never found out and if they had I would have lost my academic scholarships. He really saved my college career." Melissa C. Cold Spring, New York, October 2013
"My union rep told me to call Steve Neyman. From the get go I felt comfortable with him. He took the time to talk to me about my case whenever I needed .... He even gave me his personal cell number and took all my calls. We won the case and I kept my job." Bart L. S.
"The best criminal defense lawyer in Massachusetts. Takes all of his client's calls at any time of the day or night. He was always there for me and my family. Steve saved my life." Jacquille D. Brockton, Massachusetts
"In less than two months Stephen Neyman got my old conviction vacated. I now have no criminal record." Paul W. Boston, Massachusetts