At four o’clock this morning actress Lindsay Lohan was arrested in New York. It is alleged that Lohan slapped a woman at a New York City nightclub during an argument. The woman did not need medical treatment. Lohan is currently on probation in relation to a theft case having occurred last year. This arrest could result in Lohan being charged with a Probation Violation.
Assault and Battery Defense Lawyers in Massachusetts
A Massachusetts Criminal Lawyer will often defend alleged Probation Violations in advocate on behalf of the accused at the ensuing Probation Surrender Hearing. This process is often unpredictable and results vary from court to court. The practice of certain probation officers and/or their departments are inconsistent throughout the Commonwealth. For instance, some probation departments routinely recommend incarceration for someone they believe has violated the conditions of his probation. Some judges regularly adopt such recommendations making it almost impossible to get a just result in certain cases. Others will give the probationer a fair hearing and make their determination based on what I consider a more fair hearing. The standard at a probation revocation hearing in Massachusetts is proof by a preponderance of the evidence. The federal standard is “at least to a reasonable degree of certainty”. In my opinion the federal standard is more favorable to the accused. This cuts against the Massachusetts trend to provide more protections for the accused than does the federal courts.
In Massachusetts “[a]ny conduct by a person on probation which constitutes a violation of any of the conditions of his probation may form the basis for the revocation of that probation.” A violation of the laws as alleged in the Lohan matter would suffice in Massachusetts. There is no requirement that the accused by convicted of the alleged crime that serves as the predicate for the violation. Similarly, an acquittal on the crimes serving as the violation does not end the surrender hearing. A new arrest provides grounds for initiating a surrender hearing. In Massachusetts a defendant’s probation may be revoked on hearsay evidence along so long as the hearsay evidence has substantial indicia of reliability. Unreliable hearsay cannot serve as the basis for probation revocation. There is a due process requirement pertaining to Probation Violations in Massachusetts however it is not nearly as strong as that in criminal prosecutions. In essence, all that Massachusetts requires is written notice of the alleged violation, disclosure of the evidence supporting revocation and the right to be heard and to present evidence. The makes it extremely important for the accused to make sure that the Massachusetts Criminal Lawyer he hires has experience with Probation Violation Hearings and familiarity with the judges and probation officers in that particular court.
The Law Offices of Stephen Neyman, PC has handled Probation Surrender Hearings in Massachusetts with great success for over twenty years. Call us at 617-263-6800 or send us an email if you are in trouble. We can help you.