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Can a definitive probation period be modified for a lesser period of time?

Quincy, MA |

If someone is given drug rehab for 6 months and probation for a year which begins at the same time as rehab, can you petition to have the time decreased if you successfully complete the drug rehab?

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Attorney answers 3


Most State's do allow a petition to be filed with the Court if the objectives of the probation sentence have been accomplished. To properly assess the circumstances and liklihood of filing a successful petition, discuss this with an experienced criminal defense lawyer admitted to practice law in MA before the rehab program starts, to see what additional steps can be taken to develop a positive basis for the petition. Good luck.

This answer is provided solely for informational purposes, for you to use as a starting point when speaking directly with a lawyer in your State. I do not practice law in your State, and this answer does not constitute legal advice, create an attorney-client relationship, or constitute attorney advertising. I urge you to immediately contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer admitted to practice law in your State before you make any decisions about this case.


It depends on the charge, the DA and the probation officer.

You have nothing to lose by trying.


Yes, you can motion the court to modify the terms and conditions of probation. The proper vehicle is NOT a motion to revise and revoke, as under this type of motion a judge is only supposed to consider facts in existence prior to the sentencing date. If you go in pro se (without a lawyer) on a motion to revise and revoke, the judge is free to deny your motion on the grounds that the successful completion of rehab occurred after the sentencing and therefore cannot be considered on a motion to revise and revoke.

A motion to reconsider, supported by a detailed affidavit and any other supporting documentation as to why the probationary term should be shortened, is the better way to go. It is also very helpful to convince the probation officer who is supervising the case and/or the DA who prosecuted the case that the probation should be shortened, as a judge is more likely to grant your request if these parties have no objection to your request.

I handle probation matters all the time. i can be reached at 617-538-1127 or emailed at if you wish to discuss this matter further.