If you receive a probationary sentence or are released from prison on parole in Pennsylvania, you will be able to be home with your family and to work instead of spending time behind bars. However, you will have to comply with all of the conditions of your probation or parole to avoid potentially being sent to jail or back to prison. If you have technical violations, they can cause major problems for your probation or parole. At DiCindio Law, we represent people who are facing violations of their probation or parole to try to secure the best outcomes that might be possible.
Differences in how a probation or parole case might proceed
How your case might proceed will depend on whether you are serving county probation, state probation, or parole. If you are arrested for a new offense while you are serving a county probationary sentence, the probation department will likely issue a detainer on you and ask for you to be held in custody until a hearing on your alleged probation violation. The hearing will typically be held before the judge who sentenced you to probation for your original offense. If you are convicted of a new criminal offense while you are serving a state parole sentence, you will be deemed to be a convicted violator of your parole. This will mean that you will potentially be subjected to harsh penalties from the Pennsylvania Parole Board.
Can you be held in jail for violating county probation?
If your probation officer files an affidavit alleging that you have violated your county probation, a hearing will be scheduled. The hearing is called a Gagnon I hearing. At this hearing, the court will determine whether you should be held in custody while you wait for the probation violation hearing. The violation of probation hearing is called the Gagnon II hearing.
The judge at your Gagnon I hearing can either decide to release you from jail or order you to remain in custody until your Gagnon II hearing. At the Gagnon II hearing, the judge will decide whether you have violated your probation based on the evidence, testimony, and arguments that are presented by the state and by your attorney. It is important to note that the burden of proof at probation revocation hearings is not beyond a reasonable doubt. The court will also not review whether you committed the underlying offense for which you were sentenced to probation. Instead, the court will consider only whether you violated your probation, and you will not have the right to have a jury trial about your alleged violations.
What will happen if your probation is revoked?
If the court decides that you violated your probation, your probation can be revoked. When a court revokes a defendant’s probation, the defendant might face serious consequences. The court will be able to impose a sentence that it could have imposed for the underlying offense. It can also suspend a sentence or continue your probation.
What happens if county parole is revoked?
If your county parole is violated, the judge can revoke your parole and send you back to jail for up to the maximum sentence for your underlying offense of conviction.
When will you be eligible for parole after violating county parole?
If you are sent back to prison after your parole has been revoked, you will be eligible for parole again at any time. There aren’t any guidelines about when you can be placed on parole again after your county parole has been revoked.
What happens if you violate Pennsylvania state parole?
If your state parole is revoked by a sentencing court or by the Pennsylvania Parole Board, you can generally expect to be sent to a state correctional institute. The credit that you earned for the time that you spent on parole and how your sentence should be computed will need to be recalculated. Any new sentence that you have received will also have to be taken into account.
If you are recommitted to prison by the Pennsylvania Parole Board, you will be eligible to be paroled again. When the board imposes the time that remains on your old sentence, it will establish a new parole eligibility date.
How is back time calculated for Pennsylvania state parole?
Under the Pennsylvania Administrative Code, there is a presumptive range of the time that remains on your old sentence that you will have to serve before you are eligible for parole again. The presumptive ranges are used under the discretion of the board while taking into account any mitigating or aggravating factors. The Pennsylvania Parole Board is allowed to deviate from the presumptive range or decide against recommitting you as long as it provides sufficient justification in writing.
The Pennsylvania Parole Board is allowed to recommit you for every violation of a general condition even if all of the violations occurred during the same episode. When you have committed multiple violations, the Parole Board will use the presumptive range that carries the highest presumptive back time range for the general conditions that were violated. If you violated a special condition of your parole, the back time for it must be added to your other back time unless the Pennsylvania Parole Board decides otherwise.
Contact a West Chester probation and parole lawyer
IF you are accused of violating the conditions of your probation or parole, it is a good idea for you to seek the help of an experienced West Chester probation and parole lawyer at DiCindio Law. An experienced attorney may understand how different judges tend to treat allegations of violations and might have appeared at hearings before the Pennsylvania Parole Board. Contact DiCindio Law to schedule a consultation by calling us at (610) 430-3535.