Asked in Criminal Law for Massachusetts

Q: My husband has a vop but he was charged with a crime but it was dismissed he goes to court April 18th what do you think

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1 Lawyer Answer
Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Acton, MA
  • Licensed in Massachusetts

A: This is a very tricky issue. IF the criminal cases was dismissed because they accused the wrong person, or he has a complete alibi then it will make a difference. However, the burden of proof at a VOP is very different than it is to get a complaint, which requires probable cause. The lesser standard to prove a VOP also allows hearsay evidene to be considered if it is reliable, and live witnesses do not have to be present. It is very possible they socul still move forward with the VOP, and you shoul dnot assume that dismissal of the criminal case will result in dismissal of the VOP. The answer is, it depends. It depends on what the new offense is; what the evidence or proof of violation is; whether there were direct witnesses that reported to police; whether the probationer had a decent relationship with the PO, and whether he was otherwise in compliance. It is less work for the PO to violate a person and remove them if they are difficult to supervise. On the other hand, there are rights and defenses in the process that must also be observed. And someone can be violated and reprobated too- it doesnt always mean incarceration. VOP's can be tricky for all of these reasons, and if you have the ability to get your own lawyer you should consider contacting an attorney well versed in VOP issues.

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