A couple of months ago I plead no contest to an assault charge and was placed on probation by the judge. Then last week I was involved in a fight at a bar in Shrewsbury, MA that wasn’t my fault at all and now I’m charged with another assault case. If I get a lawyer and he gets me off on the second assault charge what will happen with my probation?
A hearing on whether you violated your probation will automatically be set because you simply had a new charge brought against you while you are on probation. This violates the conditions of your probation. It doesn’t matter if the charge has merit or not. However, if a lawyer can convince your probation officer to continue the hearing until after you are found not guilty or the charges are dismissed, you may not be found in violation of your probation if your probation officer withdraws the violation as a result. If you have a good relationship with your probation officer this would help. Otherwise, you will be required to move forward with the violation of probation hearing and you would have to convince the judge that you were not criminally responsible for the fight (i.e. you were attacked and you had no choice but to defend yourself or you were misidentified as being involved etc.). It would be a similar defense to the assault charge. However, the standard of proof for a violation of probation hearing is a lesser standard than for a criminal charge. In a criminal proceeding for an offense, the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, a difficult standard to meet. Alternatively, in proceedings involving a violation of probation, the government only has to show that you are guilty based on the preponderance of the evidence or that it is more likely than not that you violated your probation, a much easier standard to meet. The bottom line is that it is possible and likely that a lawyer will be able to either have your violation withdrawn or get you reprobated, a term indicating that you would not face any additional penalties should you be found in violation of your probation.
Shrewsbury Criminal Defense Attorney Michael Franklin, provides legal representation to individuals living in the communities of Auburn, Boylston, Shrewsbury and throughout Worcester county.
Attorney Michael Franklin
Shrewsbury Criminal Defense Lawyer
5 State Street, Suite 1F
Worcester, MA 01609