Dangerousness Hearing & Pre-Trial Order of Detention

If someone is arrested for a Crime of Violence or a felony offense that has as an element the use or threat of physical force against another person or that involves a substantial risk that physical force against another person may result, the prosecutor may ask a Judge to order the defendant held on pretrial detention or released on enhanced conditions.

In the vast majority of cases, if a person is charged with a crime, they can either be released on Personal Recognizance or held on some monetary bail, of which would depend on a variety of factors, including the nature and circumstances of the crime ad the person's criminal history.  Massachusetts law provides, however, that in order to detain a defendant pending the outcome of his criminal case, the Judge must find, after a hearing, that the prosecutor has proven that 'no conditions of release will reasonably assure the safety of any other person or the community.' 

To detain a person charged with any criminal offense is not a light request, and absent good reason, the Dangerousness Hearing will be held no later than 7 days after the person's arraignment.  In deciding whether to detain the person charged or impose some conditions of release, the judge will most often consider:
  • Nature and seriousness of the danger posed to any person or the community that would result by the person's release;
  • Nature and circumstances of the offense charged;
  • Potential penalty the person faces;
  • Family ties, employment record;
  • History of mental illness, reputation;
  • Risk that the person would attempt to obstruct justice or threaten, injure or intimidate any witnesses; and
  • Record of convictions.
In the event a person is detained pending trial, an Appeal to the Superior Court Department challenging the Judge's Order of Detention may be taken.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime and the prosecutor is seeking an Order of Detention or Dangerousness Hearing, you should immediately consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Boston Criminal Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis has represented persons charged with a variety of felony crimes and Crimes of Violence, and has experience in defending persons at Dangerousness Hearings.

To schedule a Free Consultation, Contact Us Online or call 617-325-9500.