Violation of Probation Issues
Chester County Probation Violation Lawyer
If you’re on probation, you’ve already sweated the possibility of a total loss of your liberty by being sent to prison. However, probation is always a delicate state, and it’s very easy to violate the terms the court laid out for you, sometimes by accident. When that happens, you’re right back where you were, worrying about whether or not you’ll be sent to prison.
If faced with the possibility of having your probation revoked, you have a right to an attorney who can fight to keep you from having to spend time being bars. An experienced lawyer can make the difference between you keeping or losing your freedom.
West Chester Probation Violation Lawyer
The team of criminal defense attorneys at Ciccarelli Law Offices will fight for you to stay out of jail so that you can keep your liberty and continue living life. A West Chester probation violation lawyer from Ciccarelli Law Offices can represent you on all matters pertaining to an alleged violation of your probation, including any detainer hearing you may face.
Having more than one lawyer and having more than one hope of how you can defend yourself against accusations of a probation violation can make a big difference in your case. We are a team with more than 40 years of experience in the West Chester area. The sooner you have our attorneys working on your case once you believe your probation officer will file and affidavit with the judge, the better, so call (610) 692-8700 today to set up a free consultation.
We are based in West Chester, and represent clients throughout the Greater Philadelphia area, including in Chester, Montgomery, Delaware and Lancaster Counties. We have offices located in Springfield, Radnor, Philadelphia, King of Prussia, Plymouth Meeting, Lancaster, Kennett Square and Malvern.
Are you facing a probation violation or parole violation, a Gagnon I or Gagnon II hearing in Chester County? Then speak to a Criminal Defense Lawyer to fight for you when you or facing a technical violation or facing violation for new charges in Chester County Pennsylvania.
There are two types of problems that typically cause probation or parole violations:
Technical parole violations in which a person doesn’t do what they were required to do, such as: Failing to report to your probation or parole officer ; Failing to report for a mandatory drug test, failing a drug test, or testing positive for alcohol use; Failing to pay fines or court costs as ordered; Failing to comply with the terms of your probation or parole regarding counseling or community service; or Failing to maintain a job and/or family obligations (child support or child visitation); and violations for committing a new crime while on probation.
If You Are In Jail for Probation Violation, You Will Not Be Able to Post Bail or Bond
If you are accused of violating probation during your period of probation, your probation officer will likely place a detainer on you and make you sit in jail until you have a hearing. You will not be able to get out by posting bond. Probation violations are not bondable offenses.
If you violate the terms or conditions of your Chester County probation, you can be detained in jail with a probation violation detainer. Most people end up detained for failing to report, testing positive for narcotics in their system, or being charged with a new crime while on probation. There is a detailed process that you must go through to get someone out of jail, and I have been through this process several times. I can handle the following probation and parole hearings:
Gagnon I hearing: Once it is determined that a person has violated one of the rules mentioned above, you will most likely end up in jail on a detainer warrant until a Gagnon Hearing is set, where it will be determined whether or not the accused will be transferred to another site or remain in the same jail until their Gagnon II hearings.
Detainer petitions: If a determination is made that the defendant should remain in jail pending a Gagnon II hearing, an appeal can be made to the judge. If your friend or loved one is detained, do not contact their parole officer. You could make the situation worse. I will make sure the situation is properly handled.
Gagnon II hearing: At the final hearing, you will appear before the judge who originally imposed the probation sentence. The Commonwealth will fight to have your probation revoked, but I will work strongly on your behalf to make a recommendation and make sure you appear in the best light possible.
If you are dealing with a chemical addiction and facing a probation violation detainer for a failed drug test, you need access to treatment, not a jail sentence. I can help you get into a program, so you get treatment, not punishment.
It is essential that a skilled attorney gets involved to dispute the probation or parole violation and or negotiate the best option to avoid a return to a lengthy jail sentence.
Key Issues for Probations Violations in Pennsylvania
Technical vs. Substantive Violations
When on probation, there are a list of conditions you must meet, either set by the court or by your probation officer. There are many ways to violate these conditions. Some of the violations are considered “technical” and some are “substantive.” Both can affect your probation and lead to it being revoked.
There are certain procedures you must follow involving reporting to the court or your officer, paying certain fees by certain deadlines, and timely reporting certain changes in your life involving employment and residence. If you fail to follow these procedures, then that is a technical violation.
Part of the goal of probation is to be a law-abiding citizen. If you are convicted of any type of crime during probation, then you have violated the purpose of probation. These type of violations are called substantive violations or direct violations. They can including breaking any federal or state law, any municipal ordinance or any court order, like a Protection from Abuse Order. Any time you are arrested, accused or even questioned about breaking the law, you are supposed to report the matter to your probation officer.
Common Probation Violations
When your probation officer believes you have broken probation, he or she will file an affidavit with the court administering your probation. The court may change the terms of your probation to make it stricter or revoke the probation, meaning you will go to prison.
Every probation is different, but some common violations include if you:
- Fail to report to your probation officer at your designated time;
- Fail to report a change in address for your residence;
- Fail to report that you changed jobs;
- Leave Pennsylvania without approval from your probation officer;
- Use alcohol or controlled substances and are tested;
- Possess a firearm or weapon;
- Fail to pay fines, fees, court costs or restitution;
- Fail to complete community service requirements; or
- Fail to attend court-ordered program, like drug or alcohol evaluation and treatment, alcohol safe driving enhanced supervision program, mental health protocol, Guardian Interlock Substance Abuse Program, anger management, fathers’ group or intermediate punishment program.
The quicker a West Chester criminal defense lawyer can start working on your case, the better. Your attorney can argue that your violation was not substantial or willful.
A detainer is an order from the judge supervising your probation that you are not to be released on bail. It may occur if you are accused of any other crime while you are on probation. If there is a detainer against you, it may mean you have to sit in jail for the entire criminal proceeding on the new criminal matter.
The same judge who ordered the detainer must order it lifted. Your attorney can request a hearing on the matter, called a detainer hearing. Your lawyer will argue to the judge why you should be allowed out on bail and why the detainer should be lifted for you.
Keeping Your Freedom With a West Chester Attorney’s Help
Probation means constantly being on guard, lest you lose your freedom and be sent back to prison. A West Chester probation violation lawyer can help you achieve that. Our team at Ciccarelli Law Offices helps those facing probation violations throughout the Philadelphia area, including Lancaster, Media, Coatesville, Exton and Downingtown. Call us today at (610) 692-8700 for a consultation.
Seek an Experienced Probation Violation Attorney
While there are no guarantees in criminal defense law, understanding your rights and the legal options available to you can improve your chances when defending yourself from all types of probation violation and parole violation issues. As a criminal defense attorneys with years of experience in our criminal justice system, we understand how to negotiate your probation department issue.
We make your choice all the clearer fighting for clients throughout Chester County, including our main location in West Chester. For more information or to schedule an appointment with an experienced Pennsylvania criminal defense lawyer, please contact us (610) 692-8700.