Probation is sometimes granted to criminal offenders as an alternative to spending time behind bars. In exchange for avoiding time in jail or prison, people who are on probation are expected to meet certain requirements. To give a few common examples, probationers are required to check in with their probation officers and pass regular drug tests. If an offender violates the terms of his or her probation, the consequences can be severe.
If you are found guilty of violating your probation, you could lose all of the rights and privileges associated with probation. In other words, your probation could be revoked, and you could be re-sentenced with prison or jail time. You could also receive an even longer probationary term. If you are facing probation violation charges in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, you need to act fast to protect your rights and your freedom.To schedule your free and confidential case evaluation, call our law offices today at (215) 701-6519 in Pennsylvania.
Probation vs. Parole in Pennsylvania
When approaching a probation violation case, it’s important to understand the differences between probation and parole.
Probation means that an offender will not be physically incarcerated, on the condition that he or she meets the requirements of his or her probationary period.
Parole means that an offender is released from jail or prison early, at which point he or she is monitored by the county probation and parole office.
What Violates Probation in Bucks County?
The rules and terms of a given probationary period may vary by case and jurisdiction. Nonetheless, there are some basic requirements that are common to most probationary periods. Some of the more common ways people violate probation include:
- Failing to check in with the Probation Officer.
- Failing a drug test or using alcohol where prohibited.
- Failing to report a change of personal address or workplace to the P.O.
- Failing to find and keep a job.
- Failing to pay fees and restitution fines.
Probation Violation and Gagnon Hearings
If you are charged with violating your probation, there will be a two-part Gagnon hearing, so named for the case of Gagnon v. Scarpelli in 1973.
Gagnon I Hearing: Probation Violation Preliminary Hearing
The purpose of the Gagnon I Hearing is to prove that there is probable cause for a probation violation. The burden of proof falls on the P.O. The Gagnon I Hearing is relatively informal, and will typically take place in a probation and parole office. If the Probation Officer can prove probable cause, the case proceeds to the Gagnon II Hearing.
Gagnon II Hearing: Probation Violation Final Ruling
The purpose of the Gagnon II Hearing is to determine if you violated your probation or not. The Gagnon II Hearing is more formal than Gagnon I, and may involve calling witnesses. If the judge rules that you violated your probation, you will be given a new sentence, oftentimes based on the recommendations of the P.O.
Probation Violation Lawyers Serving Bucks County, PA
When you work with an attorney from Young, Marr & Associates, you gain the support of more than 30 years of legal experience. The skilled lawyers at our firm have decades of experience handling probation violation cases in Bucks County and throughout Pennsylvania, including juvenile, misdemeanor, and felony cases stemming from a broad spectrum of charges. Our seasoned lawyers have worked with thousands of clients over our many years practicing criminal defense, and our legal team includes two former prosecutors and a former senior deputy district attorney.
At Young, Marr & Associates, it’s our stance that you are innocent until proven guilty, plain and simple. We will fight aggressively to win justice on your behalf, and will work tirelessly to ensure that your legal rights are always respected and protected.
If you or one of your loved ones is facing charges related to probation, an experienced Bucks County probation violation attorney from Young, Marr & Associates can help. Call our law offices right away at (215) 701-6519 in Pennsylvania, or contact us online.