Massachusetts Dangerousness Hearings
In many cases, if you were arrested and charged with a crime, you can expect to be released by (1) paying a monetary bail or (2) being released on personal recognizance- which is essentially a promise to the judge that you will return to court. However, if you were arrested for a third or subsequent OUI charge, a violent crime, or a felony offense, the Commonwealth may seek request pretrial detention.
A dangerousness hearing is when the Commonwealth requests a judge to hold a defendant without bail for up to 120 days. Ultimately, it will be up to the Judge whether or not you will await your pretrial hearing behind bars. Factors the judge may consider include but are not limited to:
- Seriousness of the crime and if you are a danger to the community
- How strong your family ties are and what you do for work
- Whether or not you have a history of mental illness
- What your prior, if any, criminal record entails
The extent to which dangerousness hearings are used throughout Massachusetts varies from county to county. Dangerousness hearings are aggressively used in Bristol County. Additionally, many district attorneys will request dangerousness hearings on OUI offenses, above a 4th offense. The district attorneys in Newburyport will even request a dangerousness hearing on a 3rd offense OUI in many cases.
When a dangerousness hearing is requested, a defendant could be held for a period of time, between 3 to 7 days, pending the scheduling of the dangerousness hearing. A Massachusetts criminal defense lawyer can argue that the court should not even schedule the matter for a dangerousness hearing. Accordingly, it is important to hire an experienced Massachusetts criminal defense lawyer immediately to present being detained without bail.
Attorney DelSignore has extensive experience representing clients at dangerousness hearings and throughout the court process. Contact our office today to discuss your case and we can answer any outstanding questions you might have.
If you have been charged with OUI third offense, visit our website to learn more about how you can avoid jail time. You should know that it is possible, but there are a few prerequisites.