Massachusetts Probation Lawyer
Criminal Defense ◊
Juvenile Delinquency ◊
Family Law ◊ Mental Health Advocacy
Probation, CWOF's, Drug Court, OCC and staying out of jail
Attorney Jake Megowen can help you take advantage of the alternatives to jail time offered by Massachusetts. He can help you avoid incarceration, remain employed, and make it possible for you to continue living with your family.
Attorney Megowen is extremely experienced in probation advocacy and hearings. He advocates for the best options for his clients who have criminal charges stemming from serious drug and alcohol problems or other crimes. He has represented many individuals who have completed the terms of their probation and avoided both conviction and incarceration.
Massachusetts was one of the first states to employ probation as an alternative to jail as a consequence of a conviction. Probation allows for rehabilitation without interruption to the important positive aspects of a person's life. This can be a tremendous benefit for individuals, their families, and society.
Probation supervision can be transferred to another court, even one in another state. A person can to move or return to another state and not have to come to Massachusetts to be supervised. This is at the discretion of the court or by interstate compact. However, violations of probation always will be adjudicated in the court and state the charges were brought in originally.
Attorney Megowen can help you and Probation figure out conditions of probation that will facilitate successful completion of probation. He can help you obtain travel permits or change other terms of probation. If you are issued a probation surrender notice and found in violation, he can help you stay out of jail again or advocate for the shortest jail term. He can contest finding you violated probation at all at the final hearing.
He has helped many probationers to end the terms of their probation successfully. He is especially effective with clients with substance and mental health issues. Attorney Megowen can help you get you into the best program for your individual situation when probation is an option and the court will allow it.
Continuation without finding (CWOF)
CWOF, continuation without finding, is allowed in Massachusetts for most charges. It is granted at the judge's discretion, usually only after the individual has admitted under oath in court that there are sufficient facts that would support a finding of guilty. Some judges ask the defendant to admit that they are in fact guilty.
A CWOF requires the individual to be placed on probation and the matter is continued for a specified period of time. If the individual subsequently is found in violation of probation, the CWOF may be, but isn't always, revoked and guilty finding imposed. When an individual completes probation, the CWOF will not count as a conviction for most purposes. In some instances it may be possible to obtain pretrial probation or a general continuance, with the consent of the prosecutor, and make no admission. When pretrial probation is not successful, the case returns to the trial list.
Attorney Megowen can help you obtain a CWOF in many instances where a conviction would be catastrophic for employment, housing or other reasons. It is an unlikely disposition for a serious or violent crime, but is generally available for others. For first time OUI charges absent really bad facts like a serious accident or injury it is common. Pretrial probation is less common, but attorney Megowen has had cases resolved successfully by this means also. It usually is for minor crimes or cases with very little evidence the DA is unwilling to dismiss. There are other diversions that resolve a case without an admission.
Drug Court is probation with more specialized and rigorous supervision. It usually involves drug testing, treatment, attending weekly drug court sessions, and counseling. Drug problems are common in district court. Relapses are common. Sometimes for a violation of probation a person may be detained in jail briefly, then returned to probation and allowed to retain their CWOF. Not all Massachusetts courts have drug courts.
If you have a serious drug or alcohol problem and are willing to address it seriously, Attorney Megowen can help you enroll and understand the requirements. It may even be possible to attend drug court less frequently if you are employed. Attorney Megowen has helped many clients with drug and alcohol problems resolve their court cases. Drug Court is just one of many approaches available which again lets you retain freedom if you comply with the requirements.
OCC (Office of Community Corrections)
OCC (Office of Community Corrections) is available in some, but not all, Massachusetts courts. Like Drug Court, probation is accompanied by more restrictive conditions like curfews or bracelets. If you are not employed, you likely will attend OCC four or five days a week for up to three months. The sessions include education, community service, drug, job and other counseling. OCC can help a motivated individual avoid incarceration and return to being productive.
Attorney Megowen can help you avoid incarceration in many circumstances, and OCC is just another tool the court has to achieve this.
Attorney Jake Megowen can argue against any violation and your detention when you receive a notice for a probation surrender hearing. When you are accused of violating the conditions of your probation, you should contact an attorney to ensure the best outcome.
You could be held pending final outcome. There can be more dire consequences such as the imposition of a jail sentence. The final surrender hearing usually occurs quickly after the arraignment on the violation. It is also sometimes possible to resolve the matter on that first date.
Attorney Megowen can keep you out of jail as the result of a probation violation. He can get you different conditions and another chance. He can contest the finding that you violated the terms of probation at the final hearing. He can advocate for early termination of probation or the shortest sentence if you are committed.
For a free initial consultation, email us or call us at 978-825-9988 or 978-369-2795 (after hours).