Parole and Probation Violations
In many instances in which the Commonwealth convicts a person of a crime, the person may be sentenced to probation or may be released on parole after serving part of a prison sentence. Probation and parole allow people convicted of crimes to work and spend time with loved ones outside prison, subject to certain conditions. People who fail to comply with the conditions of their probation or parole may face significant penalties, however, including imprisonment. If you were recently charged with a parole or probation violation, you should speak with a capable attorney to discuss whether you may be able to avoid incarceration. The Scranton probation violation lawyers at Lenahan & Dempsey, P.C., can assess the facts of your case and explore the arguments that you may be able to set forth in your defense to help you strive for a successful result.Probation Violations
While the terms probation and parole are often used interchangeably, they have different meanings under Pennsylvania law. Probation is a sentence that allows a person convicted of a crime to avoid going to jail, subject to conditions set forth by the sentencing court. People sentenced to probation are generally required to meet with their probation officer on a regular basis and refrain from engaging in any illegal activity. They may also be required to attend certain classes or pay fines or restitution. A person who violates the conditions of his or her probation may face serious consequences. For example, he or she may be sentenced to an additional term of probation or imprisonment for the length of time to which he or she could have originally been sentenced. A probation violation attorney in Scranton can help a defendant try to avoid these harsh consequences.Parole Violations
Conversely, parole is a release from prison prior to the end of a term of incarceration. A person released on parole must comply with the conditions of his or her parole. Generally, the conditions imposed on a parolee in Pennsylvania include an obligation to maintain regular contact with the person’s parole agent and to notify the agent of any change in employment. People on parole typically must also obtain their parole officer’s written permission prior to changing their residence or leaving the district. They are also usually prohibited from engaging in certain behavior, such as possessing firearms. If a person is found guilty of a parole violation, his or her parole may be revoked, and he or she may be ordered to return to prison to serve the remainder of the sentence.
Under Pennsylvania law, people who violate parole are divided into two categories: technical parole violators (TPVs) and convicted parole violators (CPVs). (As our Scranton probation violation attorneys can explain, probation violations are similarly divided.) A TPV is a parolee who violates the conditions of his or her parole without committing a new crime. Examples of acts that may result in a technical parole violation include moving without permission, contacting a victim of a domestic violence crime, or violating a curfew. The penalties that a TPV may face depend on the nature and frequency of the violation. A CPV is a parolee who violates parole by committing a crime. CPVs will remain in prison following their arrest until their new charges are resolved, regardless of whether they can post bail.
CPVs and TPVs have a right to a violation hearing to determine whether they violated the terms of their parole, and they have a right to be represented by counsel during the hearing. The prosecution’s burden in parole violation hearings differs from the burden imposed in a criminal trial. The prosecution must merely prove that the parolee violated the conditions of his or her parole by a preponderance of the evidence, which simply means that the prosecution must show that it is more likely than not that a violation occurred.Speak with a Skilled Criminal Defense Attorney
If you are charged with violating the conditions of your parole or probation, you should speak with a probation violation lawyer at our Scranton firm. At Lenahan & Dempsey, P.C., we can vigorously advocate in your favor to help you strive to retain your liberties. We also assist people charged with numerous other crimes, such as violent crimes, DUI, white collar crimes, theft crimes, drug crimes, gun crimes, and property crimes. From offices in Scranton, Tunkhannock, New Berwick, and the Poconos Mountains region, we defend people in criminal matters in Lackawanna, Luzerne, Columbia, Lycoming, Monroe, and Montour Counties. You can call us at 888.536.2426 to discuss the specifics of your case at no obligation. We also can be reached online.