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General Laws

Section 58A. (1) The commonwealth may move, based on dangerousness, for an order of pretrial detention or release on conditions for a felony offense that has as an element of the offense the use, attempted use or threatened use of physical force against the person of another or any other felony that, by its nature, involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person of another may result, including the crimes of burglary and arson whether or not a person has been placed at risk thereof, or a violation of an order pursuant to section 18, 34B or 34C of chapter 208, section 32 of chapter 209, section 3, 4 or 5 of chapter 209 A or section 15 or 20 of chapter 209C, or arrested and charged with a misdemeanor or felony involving abuse as defined in section 1 of said chapter 209A or while an order of protection issued under said chapter 209A was in effect against such person, an offense for which a mandatory minimum term of 3 years or more is prescribed in chapter 94C, arrested and charged with a violation of section 13B of chapter 268 or a third or subsequent conviction for a violation of section 24 of chapter 90, or arrested and charged with a violation of paragraph (a), (c) or (m) of section 10 of chapter 269; provided, however, that the commonwealth may not move for an order of detention under this section based on possession of a large capacity feeding device without simultaneous possession of a large capacity weapon; or arrested and charged with a violation of section 10G of said chapter 269.

(2) Upon the appearance before a superior court or district court judge of an individual charged with an offense listed in subsection (1) and upon the motion of the commonwealth, the judicial officer shall hold a hearing pursuant to subsection (4) issue an order that, pending trial, the individual shall either be released on personal recognizance without surety; released on conditions of release as set forth herein; or detained under subsection (3).

If the judicial officer determines that personal recognizance will not reasonably assure the appearance of the person as required or will endanger the safety of any other person or the community, such judicial officer shall order the pretrial release of the person—

(A) subject to the condition that the person not commit a federal, state or local crime during the period of release; and

(B) subject to the least restrictive further condition, or combination of conditions, that such judicial officer determines will reasonably assure the appearance of the person as required and the safety of any other person and the community that the person—

(i) remain in the custody of a designated person, who agrees to assume supervision and to report any violation of a release condition to the court, if the designated person is able reasonably to assure the judicial officer that the person will appear as required and will not pose a danger to the safety of any other person or the community;

(ii) maintain employment, or, if unemployed, actively seek employment;

(iii) maintain or commence an educational program;

(iv) abide by specified restrictions on personal associations, place of abode or travel;

(v) avoid all contact with an alleged victim of the crime and with any potential witness or witnesses who may testify concerning the offense;

(vi) report on a regular basis to a designated law enforcement agency, pretrial service agency, or other agency;

(vii) comply with a specified curfew;

(viii) refrain from possessing a firearm, destructive device, or other dangerous weapon;

(ix) refrain from excessive use of alcohol, or any use of a narcotic drug or other controlled substance, without a prescription by a licensed medical practitioner;

(x) undergo available medical, psychological, or psychiatric treatment, including treatment for drug or alcohol dependency and remain in a specified institution if required for that purpose;

(xi) execute an agreement to forfeit upon failing to appear as required, property of a sufficient unencumbered value, including money, as is reasonably necessary to assure the appearance of the person as required, and shall provide the court with proof of ownership and the value of the property along with information regarding existing encumbrances as the judicial officer may require;

(xii) execute a bail bond with solvent sureties; who will execute an agreement to forfeit in such amount as is reasonably necessary to assure appearance of the person as required and shall provide the court with information regarding the value of the assets and liabilities of the surety if other than an approved surety and the nature and extent of encumbrances against the surety’s property; such surety shall have a net worth which shall have sufficient unencumbered value to pay the amount of the bail bond;

(xiii) return to custody for specified hours following release for employment, schooling, or other limited purposes; and

(xiv) satisfy any other condition that is reasonably necessary to assure the appearance of the person as required and to assure the safety of any other person and the community.

The judicial officer may not impose a financial condition that results in the pretrial detention of the person.

The judicial officer may at any time amend the order to impose additional or different conditions of release.

(3) If, after a hearing pursuant to the provisions of subsection (4), the district or superior court justice finds by clear and convincing evidence that no conditions of release will reasonably assure the safety of any other person or the community, said justice shall order the detention of the person prior to trial. A person detained under this subsection shall be brought to a trial as soon as reasonably possible, but in absence of good cause, the person so held shall not be detained for a period exceeding ninety days excluding any period of delay as defined in Massachusetts Rules of Criminal Procedure Rule 36(b)(2). A justice may not impose a financial condition under this section that results in the pretrial detention of the person. Nothing in this section shall be interpreted as limiting the imposition of a financial condition upon the person to reasonably assure his appearance before the courts.

(4) When a person is held under arrest for an offense listed in subsection (1) and upon a motion by the commonwealth, the judge shall hold a hearing to determine whether conditions of release will reasonably assure the safety of any other person or the community.

The hearing shall be held immediately upon the person’s first appearance before the court unless that person, or the attorney for the commonwealth, seeks a continuance. Except for good cause, a continuance on motion of the person may not exceed seven days, and a continuance on motion of the attorney for the commonwealth may not exceed three business days. During a continuance, the individual shall be detained upon a showing that there existed probable cause to arrest the person. At the hearing, such person shall have the right to be represented by counsel, and, if financially unable to retain adequate representation, to have counsel appointed. The person shall be afforded an opportunity to testify, to present witnesses, to cross-examine witnesses who appear at the hearing, and to present information. The rules concerning admissibility of evidence in criminal trials shall not apply to the presentation and consideration of information at the hearing. The facts the judge uses to support findings pursuant to subsection (3), that no conditions will reasonably assure the safety of any other person or the community, shall be supported by clear and convincing evidence. In a detention order issued pursuant to the provisions of said subsection (3) the judge shall (a) include written findings of fact and a written statement of the reasons for the detention; (b) direct that the person be committed to custody or confinement in a corrections facility separate, to the extent practicable, from persons awaiting or serving sentence or being held in custody pending appeal; and (c) direct that the person be afforded reasonable opportunity for private consultation with his counsel. The person may be detained pending completion of the hearing. The hearing may be reopened before or after a determination by the justice, at any time before trial if the justice finds that information exists that was not known at the time of the hearing and that has a material bearing on the issue and whether there are conditions of release that will reasonably assure the safety of any other person and the community.

(5) In his determination as to whether there are conditions of release that will reasonably assure the safety of any other individual or the community, said justice, shall, on the basis of any information which he can reasonably obtain, take into account the nature and seriousness of the danger posed to any person or the community that would result by the person’s release, the nature and circumstances of the offense charged, the potential penalty the person faces, the person’s family ties, employment record and history of mental illness, his reputation, the risk that the person will obstruct or attempt to obstruct justice or threaten, injure or intimidate or attempt to threaten, injure or intimidate a prospective witness or juror, his record of convictions, if any, any illegal drug distribution or present drug dependency, whether the person is on bail pending adjudication of a prior charge, whether the acts alleged involve abuse as defined in section one of chapter two hundred and nine A, or violation of a temporary or permanent order issued pursuant to section eighteen or thirty-four B of chapter two hundred and eight, section thirty-two of chapter two hundred and nine, sections three, four or five of chapter two hundred and nine A, or sections fifteen or twenty of chapter two hundred and nine C, whether the person has any history of orders issued against him pursuant to the aforesaid sections, whether he is on probation, parole or other release pending completion of sentence for any conviction and whether he is on release pending sentence or appeal for any conviction.

(6) Nothing in this section shall be construed as modifying or limiting the presumption of innocence.

(7) A person aggrieved by the denial of a district court justice to admit him to bail on his personal recognizance with or without surety may petition the superior court for a review of the order of the recognizance and the justice of the district court shall thereupon immediately notify such person of his right to file a petition for review in the superior court. When a petition for review is filed in the district court or with the detaining authority subsequent to petitioner’s district court appearance, the clerk of the district court or the detaining authority, as the case may be, shall immediately notify by telephone, the clerk and probation officer of the district court, the district attorney for the district in which the district court is located, the prosecuting officer, the petitioner’s counsel, if any, and the clerk of courts of the county to which the petition is to be transmitted. The clerk of the district court, upon the filing of a petition for review, either in the district court or with the detaining authority, shall forthwith transmit the petition for review, a copy of the complaint and the record of the court, including the appearance of the attorney, if any is entered, and a summary of the court’s reasons for denying the release of the defendant on his personal recognizance with or without surety to the superior court for the county in which the district court is located, if a justice thereof is then sitting, or to the superior court of the nearest county in which a justice is then sitting; the probation officer of the district court shall transmit forthwith to the probation officer of the superior court, copies of all records of the probation office of said district court pertaining to the petitioner, including the petitioner’s record of prior convictions, if any, as currently verified by inquiry of the commissioner of probation. The district court or the detaining authority, as the case may be, shall cause any petitioner in its custody to be brought before the said superior court within two business days of the petition having been filed. The district court is authorized to order any officer authorized to execute criminal process to transfer the petitioner and any papers herein above described from the district court or the detaining authority to the superior court, and to coordinate the transfer of the petitioner and the papers by such officer. The petition for review shall constitute authority in the person or officer having custody of the petitioner to transport the petitioner to said superior court without the issuance of any writ or other legal process; provided, however, that any district or superior court is authorized to issue a writ of habeas corpus for the appearance forthwith of the petitioner before the superior court.

The superior court shall in accordance with the standards set forth in section fifty-eight A, hear the petition for review under section fifty-eight A as speedily as practicable and in any event within five business days of the filing of the petition. The justice of the superior court hearing the review may consider the record below which the commonwealth and the person may supplement. The justice of the superior court may, after a hearing on the petition for review, order that the petitioner be released on bail on his personal recognizance without surety, or, in his discretion, to reasonably assure the effective administration of justice, make any other order of bail or recognizance or remand the petitioner in accordance with the terms of the process by which he was ordered committed by the district court.

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