What you Need to Know if You've Been Arrested in Massachusetts
If you have just been arrested in Boston or anywhere in Massachusetts, you are probably very confused, nervous, scared and wondering what comes next. Hopefully the information below can help you if you have just been arrested in Massachusetts.
How Does Bail in Massachusetts Work?
Most people that are arrested are able to post bail at the Police Station. The bail is normally personal recognizance, which means someone's promise to appear in court on the next day. The person arrested must pay a nonrefundable fee of $40. This fee pays the bail commissioner or clerk to come to the police station after hours. If you are given bail at the police station you will be given a piece of paper that gives the time and date you are ordered to court.
If you are arrested the bail commissioner or clerk can set a cash bail. In Massachusetts a bail in usually money. Unlike many other states Massachusetts does not have bail bonds. A cash bail costs the amount of the bail. Bonds can be posted at a later date however they are ten times the amount of the cash bail. If you are charged with a serious offense a cash bail could placed on you at the police station. If someone you know appears bail can be posted at the station.
What is an Arraignment In Massachusetts?
An arraignment is when someone is formally charged with a crime. In Masaschusetts, it is routinely held the day after the person was arrested. An arraignment is a hearing in front of the judge. The purpose of an arraignment is to formaly charge someone with a crime and set bail or bail conditions. Even if you bailed out for $40 at the police station the District Attorney may request a cash bail in court. The Court may also impose conditions of release. Conditions or release may include drug free with testing, no abuse or the victim or stay away from the victim.
Massachusetts Arraignment Advice
- Arrive to the courthouse early
- Check into the Probation Department as soon as you get to court. If you don't check in they may not call your case.
- Leave the cellphone at home or in the car- some courts do not allow cell phones in the building.
- Dress as respectable as possible.
- Men Should Wear to Court -Slacks, dress shoes, belt button down shirt tie and jacket.
- Men Should Never Wear to Court - Shorts, T-Shirt, Sneakers, Flip Flops,
- Women should wear conservative clothes to court like pants, sweater, mininal jewelry
- Women should not wear clothes to court that show middrift, excessive cleavage, lots of jewelry
What Happens After the Arraignment?
After you have been arraigned yiur case will be scheduled for a pretrial hearing. Remember it is a pretrial hearing and not a trial. A pretrial hearing is a chance for your lawyer and the prosecutor to talk about the case, exchange any discovery or evidence and talk about a plea. If a decision cannot be reached on the pretrial date the case may be scheduled for another pretrial hearing or a trial.
Can I just plead Guilty?
I would strongly advise against that. A guilty is a conviction and even if the prosecutor offers to just impose a fine and a guilty there could be other consequences. For example if you plead guilty to driving on a suspended license the Registry of Motor Vehicles will automatically suspend your license for an additional 60 days. If you want to just plead guilty you should only do so ater talking to an attorney about your case.
The Best Massachusetts Criminal Defense
Patrick Donovan is dedicated to providing the best criminal defense in Massachusetts. Attorney Donovan is an experienced Massachusetts criminal defense attorney can fight against felony or misdemeanot criminal charges. Even if this is someone’s first offense, the criminal and financial penalties can be huge. Any criminal charge charge has the potential to impose severe consequences. Attorney Donovan can fight for you every step of the way.
Attorney Patrick T. Donovan is committed to representing people who have been accused of and charged with criminal offenses in Boston, Quincy and throughout the state of Massachusetts. Patrick T. Donovan is committed to aggressively pursuing the best possible outcome for each and every one of our clients.
Call the Law Office of Patrick T. Donovan today for your free initial consultation at (617) 479-1800.