Have You Violated Your Probation?

Probation is oftentimes one of the best bargains that a defendant can receive in court. While certainly better than imprisonment, probation does not mean that individuals are free. In fact, individuals will have to follow very strict guidelines during their probation, as the penalties of failing to meet these demands can be very severe.

The conditions within the agreement call on individuals to follow and obey all local, federal, and state laws along with reporting to their probation officer. Defendants will have to meet these conditions throughout their probation, along with other common-sense measures, as well as community service (conditional).

The penalties for failing to meet these probation conditions will lead to a violation. A violation entails serious consequences that depend on your criminal record, initial charges, and the charges that you violated. The largest penalty that you will face for violating your probation is jail time, and at the least, you may receive more time under probation.

After Violating Your Terms

Violating the terms of your probation can lead to a warrant for your immediate arrest. The probation officer will issue a surrender notice, which means that the defendant will have to appear in front of the judge. This judge may send out a warrant for a defendant’s immediate arrest.

The Initial Surrender Hearing

The first surrender hearing occurs when an individual is formally notified of their probation violation in court. Of course, these violations are only allegations, and the judge will decide if there is probable cause to these claims and if you will go to jail without bail until the day of the final surrender hearing. There can be no need for a final surrender hearing if the defendant has the support of a professional attorney.

Final Surrender Hearing

In the final surrender hearing, the judge will call on witnesses to testify either in favor or against the allegations of violations. Of course, calling on a professional attorney will allow them to cross-examine any witnesses as well as call other witnesses on their behalf. However, if there is sufficient evidence that the defendant is responsible for violating their terms, their attorney will have to negotiate the sentence that the judge will enact.

Attorney Benjamin UrbelisViolating your terms of probation can be a serious offense and can even lead to jail time. If you are looking to learn more about your probation and how to uphold the terms, contact Urbelis Law at (617) 830-2188.

Everything You Need to Know About Massachusetts’ Firearms Law

While the controversy around firearms begins to swell near the 2020 elections, your right to bear arms will be protected by the second amendment. Here is everything you should know regarding gun laws in Massachusetts.

Owning guns in Massachusetts

Owning a gun in Massachusetts is very simple and is possible even if you are not a resident of the state. Of course, before you can purchase a licensed firearm, you will need a License to Carry (LTC) or a Firearm Identification (FID) Card. Sellers will have to conduct a background check on a buyer, and for that, they will need the aforementioned identification cards.

Carrying Guns in Massachusetts

Other than owning a gun in Massachusetts, licensed gun owners can also carry their firearms outside of their homes. To freely carry a gun, individuals will have to first apply for a Class A Unrestricted License to Carry (LTC-A). Individuals can only apply for an LTC-A license after first receiving an LTC.

Areas Where Carrying Firearms Is Illegal

Although Massachusetts allows for open and concealed carry of your firearm throughout the state, there are places where individuals cannot carry firearms. Even if they have a dedicated LTC-A license, the state prohibits gun owners from carrying firearms in designated places. Here are the following places:

  • Schools or other educational institutes
  • Airports
  • Courthouses
  • When using an off-road vehicle other than a car like a snowmobile, etc.

Carrying a Firearm in Your Car

Class A LTC holders in the state to Massachusetts can carry handguns or short-barreled firearms in their car. However, this license will have to be under the vehicle owner’s direct control. On the other hand, Class B LTC holders can keep an unloaded firearm in their vehicle in a safe storage container. Without an LTC, it is illegal to knowingly possess a firearm.

Gun Registration in Massachusetts

Gun registration is possible in Massachusetts but is not always necessary. Most authorized sellers provide a detailed report of all their transactions to the Department of Criminal Justice Information Services, which keeps a comprehensive record of sales data.

Attorney Benjamin UrbelisIf you are looking to learn more about Massachusetts firearm laws, contact Urbelis Law at (617) 830-2188. While owning a firearm is your second amendment right, there are certain factors that you will have to consider when buying and owning them, and we can help you.

What Happens If I Don’t Respond to A Criminal Citation?

Getting a citation is never a good thing but getting a criminal citation can be especially nerve-wracking. When people receive a criminal citation, they’re often left with many unanswered questions. Let’s dig a little deeper to find out what your criminal citation means and what the possible consequences of not responding are. 

What is a Criminal Citation? 

A criminal citation is a written citation of charges being held against you. You may receive a criminal citation in person, directly from an officer, or in the mail. Typically, there will be a 4-day response window for the criminal citation from the date it’s received. That 4-day window allows the defendant to request something called a clerk magistrate hearing to settle their case. 

How Does a Clerk Magistrate Hearing Differ from a Normal Hearing? 

A clerk magistrate hearing is a type of hearing that’s less formal than a traditional court hearing. Multiple cases are over-seen by a judge in a short period of time, rather than a full-blown court hearing. A clerk magistrate hearing can help the defendant avoid jail time and make the fees (if any apply) for the citation more manageable. 

What if You Miss the 4-Day Window? 

If you don’t respond to a criminal citation within 4 days, you’ll likely receive a court summons for a trial and possible arraignment. The best way to avoid this, of course, is to respond to the citation within the 4-day window. Some cities and states are more lenient than others and if you respond to the criminal citation in person, you may be granted a clerk magistrate hearing even if the 4-day window has passed.

When to Seek Professional Advice 

You should seek the advice of an attorney if you’re facing a criminal citation you would like to fight, or if you missed the 4-day window and have received a court summons. Even in the event of a court summons and hearing, you can be acquitted of the criminal citation if your attorney is able to win the case. 

Attorney Benjamin UrbelisCriminal citations should be taken very seriously because if they aren’t, the consequences can quickly become more severe. Respond to your criminal citation as soon as it’s received or enlist the help of an attorney if you have any questions regarding the criminal citation you received. Have an attorney help oversee your clerk magistrate hearing to ensure you receive a fair ruling by the judge and avoid further trial or jail time.