Can I Terminate My Probation Early in Massachusetts?

It is truly amazing how many people charged with crimes in Massachusetts feel a tremendous sense of relief when they resolve their case by being placed on probation. They have avoided the uncertainty of their sentence should they lost at trial. They walk away from the courthouse wiping their brow.The weight of the world is no longer on their shoulders. They are, in their minds free. For some people this feeling lasts forever. For others it lasts for a few days, sometimes even weeks. Then reality sets in. “Wait a minute” they say. “You mean I have to report to a probation officer once a week? ” “Do I really have to pay the probation department fifty or possibly sixty-five bucks a months?” Sometimes they call me up and ask if I can fix this. “Can I terminate my probation early?” This post examines some possibilities in this situation.

When Can Probation Terminate Early?

The answer to this question depends. What are you on probation for? How well have you performed on probation? What does the district attorney say? Perhaps most important is the reason why do you want to end your probation.  Here is a look at the answers to these questions with respect to putting an end to probation.

  • The Reasons For You Being on Probation

The more serious the crime the less likely your probation will terminate early.  Conversely, if the crime is considered minor your chances improve.  For example, probation for sex offenses is rarely reconsidered before it is due to expire whereas probation for nuisance crimes such as trespass or destruction to property is often reexamined early.

  • Full Compliance With The Terms of Your Probation

If you have reported regularly to your probation officer and paid all of your fines a judge will look favorably upon your request to terminate. If however you miss appointments, still owe money, fail to honor court orders and things of that nature, forget it. You won’t prevail.

  • The Position of the Prosecutor

Any time the prosecutor and your lawyer come to an agreement, not matter what the issue might be your chances of success improve. As a rule judges would rather not interfere with a deal between a defense lawyer and the district attorney. Going before a judge on agreed terms facilitates this process

  • Your Reason For Seeking to Terminate Your Probation is Critical and Must be Compelling

Lets face it. Nobody wants to be on probation. It is a burden. Judges are not going to terminate probation because it is time consuming or interfering with your life. That is the point of probation. To teach you a lesson and limit your freedoms to ensure that you don’t get in trouble again. However, if you have a good reason and the items discussed in the previous paragraphs have been met you just might get your way. Take for instance a case we had today. Nine months ago a man was placed on pretrial probation for malicious destruction to property over $250, a felony in Massachusetts. The terms of the probation were one year, probation fees and restitution. The man paid the restitution right away. He paid the annual probation fee immediately. Then, nine months into his probation he got a promotion at work. The promotion was held up due to the pretrial probation still being open. We discussed this with the prosecutor, agreed to terminating probation and brought the case before the judge. The motion to terminate was allowed.

Probation Modification Lawyer

Stephen Neyman has been helping people get off probation and modifying their probation for nearly thirty years. Call us at 617-263-6800. Let us go to work for you.