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What is a Dangerousness (58A) Hearing in Massachusetts?

dangerousness hearing Massachusetts

I take on criminal defense cases all over the Boston area, and have many years of experience as a defense attorney and have handles dozens of dangerousness hearings. I commit to fighting for all of my clients because I know that the decisions we make together involving your case will have a great impact on your life. All of my client’s cases are taken personally, and I will do everything I can do secure the best outcome for you.

What is a Dangerousness Hearing?

If you are arrested in the state of Massachusetts, you may need to attend a Dangerousness Hearing, or a 58A Hearing. This type of hearing takes place when the Commonwealth requests a judge to hold you without bail for up to 120 days (in district court). At the hearing, the judge determines if you are released on bail or held before trial.

What Happens at the Hearing?

At the 58A hearing, both the defense and prosecution can call witnesses to testify. The judge will make a determination whether or not you will be held in custody pending trial. This decision with depend on two things:

  1. If you are dangerous;
  2. If you are dangerous, whether there are conditions of release to assure the safety of the victim and/or community.

In the judges analysis, they may take into account the following (although they are not limited to these factors):

  • Nature and seriousness of the danger posed to any person or the community that would result from your release
  • Nature and circumstances of the offense charged
  • Potential penalty you may face
  • Family ties, employment record
  • History of mental illness, reputation
  • Risk that you would attempt to obstruct justice or threaten, injure or intimidate any witnesses, and
  • Record of your convictions, violations of probation, or restraining orders.

What are Some Possible Conditions of Release if I’m Released after a Dangerousness Hearing?

  • Taking part in mental health treatment
  • Staying away from certain individuals
  • Wearing a GPS monitor
  • Random drug testing to ensure you are drug and/or alcohol free

Can I Appeal if I am Held Without Bail on a 58A Hearing?

If you are held without bail, or if you cannot afford to pay your bail there is an option to appeal. During a bail review in Superior court, the judge will consider several factors including:

  • The seriousness of the charge
  • The evidence against you
  • Your criminal record
  • Your record of appearing in court
  • Your employment, and
  • Your connection to the community

The Superior Court judge can decide to release you or continue to hold you in jail.


You can be held on dangerousness only if you are charged with certain crimes, such as firearm offenses or domestic violence charges.  The dangerousness hearing can be a critical stage of your criminal case, and it’s important to hire a criminal defense attorney to represent you at the hearing.  Otherwise, you could be held in jail or miss an opportunity to set up your defense.  I have handled dozens of 58A hearings in Massachusetts.

I take on criminal defense cases all over the Greater Boston area, and I am here to help. If you are in need of representation for your criminal case, call us at 617-295-7500, or leave me a website message. If you have a dangerousness hearing in Massachusetts, contact me today about retaining me as your defense attorney. You can be confident that I will leave no stone unturned.





Although I am an attorney, I am not your attorney.  Please do not rely on anything on this page as legal advice because any specific advice would depend on your situation.  Any results posted on this page are not guarantees of outcomes in your case.

Boston Attorney

The court system is stressful, whether you’re being charged with a crime, being sued, suing someone, or fighting for your ability to stay and work in this country. You need someone who appreciates this and can dedicate the time not only to represent you effectively in court but to guide you through the process.

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