What is Pre-trial Probation in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts Minor Crimes
Misdemeanor Criminal Offense Lawyer
Pre-trial Probation, Massachusetts

Q: What is Pre-trial Probation in Massachusetts?

A: Pre-trial probation is a very good disposition for a defendant.  However, it is very difficult to attain, is only available in limited circumstances, and must be agreed to by the prosecution.

In most cases involving pre-trial probation, the defendant has been arraigned on the criminal charges, and agrees to abide by certain conditions of release (i.e. while out on bail or personal recognizance) while the case is pending.  Conditions of release might include staying away from or paying restitution to an alleged victim, performing community service hours, attending a court-ordered educational class, or a combination thereof. If after a certain period of time (usually 3- 6 months) and before the case is brought to trial, the defendant abides by all conditions of release, the judge will dismiss the case.  This is a much better disposition than a CWOF, because you are not admitting to sufficient evidence for a guilty finding.  Therefore, it can not be held against you as a prior offense if you are ever charged with a crime in the future.  Additionally, violating the conditions of pre-trial probation, in and of itself, will not result in the imposition of a conviction or jail time.  However, violation of pre-trial conditions will cause the case to be brought back before the court and put on the trial list for full prosecution.

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