Decision Commonwealth v. Eldred

Date: 07/20/2018
Organization: Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court

Commonwealth v. Eldred
Supreme Judicial Court, July 16, 2018
(Probation Violation/Conditions)

“(1) [W]here a person who commits a crime is addicted to illegal drugs, a judge may require that person to remain drug free as a condition of probation; (2) a person may be subject to probation violation proceedings for violating the drug free condition of probation by subsequently testing positive for illegal drugs; and (3) in the appropriate circumstances, a judge has discretion at a detention hearing to hold the defendant, who has tested positive for illegal drugs in violation of the drug free condition of probation, pending a violation hearing.”

*Where addiction is an underlying issue in a criminal case, a probation condition may include conditions to address this issue.  A condition is permissible if it is reasonably related to the goals of sentencing and probation, given the underlying crime and defendant’s personal circumstances.  

*The Court noted the defendant did not object to the probation conditions or otherwise inform the trial court that she would be unable to abide by the drug free condition of probation at the time of sentencing.

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