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Lindsay Lohan case illustrates risks of probation violations after a First Offense Massachusetts OUI plea resulting in a CWOF

Anyone facing Massachusetts OUI charges or probation for a similar offense can learn something from the case of Lindsay Lohan.

What is often lost in the ongoing saga of Lohan and her trips through jail and alcohol and drug rehabilitation centers is a simple, startling fact: All of her legal problems — which have included four bench warrants and several stints in jails and rehabilitation centers — stem from a conviction for DUI.

Clients are often surprised to learn that probationary conditions can be difficult to comply with and result in jail time if there is a violation. A Massachusetts criminal defense lawyer can assist a client in understanding the requirements of probation and may be able to argue against terms that are likely to trigger probation violations.

Massachusetts probation surrender hearings, unlike in California, do not allow for bail; Even if you receive a CWOF, or continuance without a finding, on a First Offense Massachusetts OUI, a violation of the terms of the probation can result in you being held in jail without bail as a result of a probation violation. Once you receive notice of a violation hearing, a preliminary surrender hearing is held where the judge determines whether there is a basis for the violation and if so whether the judge will exercise his or her discretion and detain the probation violator. On a first violation it would be unusual for a judge to detain an individual; however, it is within the judge’s discretion and will depend on a number of factors, including the severity of the violation, whether the violation is a result of new criminal charges or so called technical violation, like failing to comply with treatment, report to probation or pay money, whether the individual has a record of not appearing for court and the nature and seriousness of the underlying offense in which probation was ordered.

Ordered to jail on Friday for a failed drug test, the Hollywood Actress was set to sit behind bars until Oct. 22, when a hearing is set to determine whether she faces additional jail time for a probation violation. The judge has promised she would spend 30 days in jail for each violation. She was sentenced to 90-days in jail earlier this summer but spent just 14 days because of overcrowding. This time a new judge presiding over her case seemed determined to get the full 30 days by sending her to jail until the hearing.

Lohan managed to get that ruling overturned but was forced to post $300,000 bail. And many court watchers think her freedom is likely to come at the high cost of angering the judge who must rule and issue sentence next month on the probation violation. At that time, the judge will be within his rights to return her to jail.

The appeal of the no-bail decision was granted after a judge said Lohan’s underlying misdemeanor offense entitles her to bail. As the conditions of her release, she was ordered to wear an alcohol monitoring bracelet and stay out of bars.

The Law Offices of Michael DelSignore are conveniently located in Stoughton, Attleboro, Braintree and Westborough.

Call (508) 455-4755 for a free consultation, 24 hours a day, including weekends and holidays.

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