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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:

  1. Seriousness of the crime and if you are a danger to the community
  2. How strong your family ties are and what you do for work
  3. Whether or not you have a history of mental illness
  4. 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.

Client Reviews
Michael was very professional and explained the process clearly and told us to be patient. After one year the charges got dismissed in the trial. Excellent knowledge of the court systems in the area of Boston. Would highly recommend him Ashwani
A careless decision on my part left me facing charges which would have severely hampered my ability to stay employed and support myself. But attorney DelSignore's skillful analysis and challenging of the evidence against me resulted in a conviction on a lesser charge. Now I'll be able to go on with my life, having learned a lesson I'll never forget. Thank you, Michael. Scott
Mike stuck with my case for 3.5 years and always kept me informed regarding the status. Ultimately, because of his due diligence, we ended up with an OUI not guilty verdict. This case could have gone many ways but his thorough review of the case and exceptional preparedness for trial ultimately drove a positive outcome. Thank you Mike! David
Michael DelSignore did an amazing job with my case! He was always available to answer any questions I had and helped walked me through the entire process. I could not have done it without them! I highly recommend choosing this law firm to deal with your legal needs, you will not be dissatisfied. Ashley
I cannot express the gratitude towards Michael for his amazing work and help. It was a very stressful event and they certainly put me at as much ease as possible. From start to finish it took 14 months and all the way through they were both very engaged with me. Today was worth the wait, Michael was great in court and I was rightfully found not guilty. I would recommend Michael over and over again. Claire