Pennsylvania courts look unfavorably upon defendants charged with probation violations. When you are convicted and sentenced for a crime and then later probated or paroled, the courts expect you to live up to the stipulations of your release. Fail to do so, and a judge can order you to return to jail to serve out the rest of your sentence or the maximum sentence possible for your offense. They can also add time to your probationary period or place additional restrictions on your freedom.
Good, deserving people are subject to making poor choices after their release from prison or jail. This is particularly true among those parolees who suffer from addiction. What’s more, parole violations often stem from misunderstandings and mistakes that are made innocently but that lead to dire consequences in our stringent and complicated criminal justice system.
If you are facing probation revocation due a technical violation or the commission of a new crime while serving out your probation, contact our Westmoreland County probation violation attorney to discuss your situation. The sooner you call after your parole officer submits an affidavit reporting the violation, the better, since swift action is required to represent your legal interests and keep you out of jail.
One of the general stipulations of being released on parole or probation is that you commit no new crimes during your probationary period. If you are charged with a new crime while still on probation, you may be held without bond until your preliminary hearing. Your attorney can file motions to have the detainer against you lifted, which is sometimes successful, depending on the circumstances.
Technical Violations of Parole
When the conditions of parole are handed down, you are bound to those conditions in order to secure your release from jail. If you fail to hold up to your end of the deal, then you put yourself at risk of having your parole rescinded. Some of the most common violations that result in revocation include:
- Violating curfew
- Failing to report to a probation/parole officer as required
- Failing to appear in court as ordered
- Failing to pay fines, restitution or court costs
- Failing a drug, alcohol or other screening test
- Failing to do community service as ordered
- Non-completion of rehabilitative program as required
- Associating with prohibited people, such as known felons
- Possessing a firearm when forbidden
Once you are thought to be in violation of the conditions of your release, there will be two hearings. The first is a hearing where it will be determined if there is probable cause to think that you actually violated your parole conditions. The other is to determine whether or not to return you to jail, and if so, for how long. In some instances, your attorney may be able to show that it was a true misunderstanding that resulted in your violation. In others, it may be possible to persuade the courts to offer treatment options to you in lieu of returning you to jail.