What’s at Risk If You Violate Your Probation in PA
From intensive supervision and shock probation to unsupervised probation, there are so many different types of probation that one can serve, but each state has their own specific consequences when you violate your probation. If you’re currently on Philadelphia probation, you should know what’s specifically at risk if you violate your probation in PA.
So what is probation?
Probation can be defined as an alternative to imprisonment for someone who is convicted of or pleads guilty to a criminal offense. This type of consequence allows you to remain in the community, but under specific conditions and the supervision of a local probation officer. It sounds a lot less daunting than the alternative, but the situation can easily get a lot worse if you’re not on your best behavior during this time.
How do you violate probation?
Every state is different, as is every probation. In many cases, the judge will assign additional provisions specific to the individual sentencing, but overall Pennsylvania has general rules for what happens if you break your violation, and what qualifies as doing so.
To start, there are two types of probation violations in PA: technical violations and criminal offenses.
These violations occur when the terms and conditions that the judge has put in the probation agreement are not followed. By accepting your probation, you’re agreeing to abide by certain terms in order to stay out of jail. Some of these terms may include the following:
- Contacting your officer as scheduled
- Passing drug tests
- Notifying probation officers about a move or job change
- Remaining employed or in school
- Completing mandatory drug or alcohol counseling
- Paying fines, fees and restitution
If you commit another crime while on probation, it’s an automatic violation of the probation agreement and your probation officer has the right to arrest you immediately. You’re guaranteed a probation hearing under state law, as well as the presence of an attorney to represent you. As a result of the hearing, the judge can modify your probation, add stricter terms or determine another course of action.
What happens if you violate your probation for the first time in PA?
Consequences for first-time probation violations tend to result in less serious consequences than for subsequent violations, but there are many factors that determine this for each case. They include:
- Whether or not your probation officer reports the violation
- The seriousness and nature of the violation
- If you face new criminal charges
A judge has a lot of discretion in terms of the penalties that may follow. From a strict warning to possible jail time, there are varying degrees of probation violation sentencing. While he or she may try to revoke your probation all together, an experienced Philadelphia criminal defense attorney can help review the facts of your case and fight for modified terms or an alternative penalty. Possible outcomes of a violation may be:
- Revocation of your probation, resulting in jail time for the rest of the original sentence
- Revocation of your probation and another sentence, up to the legal maximum for your original crime
- Mandatory enrollment in drug or alcohol rehabilitation or counseling program
- Probation extension
- Modified probation terms
- Additional community service
Let’s not forget that any violations to your probation could also have personal ramifications as well. The resulting charges or jail time could cost you a job, the pursuit of your degree or affect your family life.
If you’d like to learn more about what happens if you violate your probation in Pennsylvania or have already received a violation of probation charge and need a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer, we can help you understand your rights and fight to minimize your sentence and protect your future. Contact us today.