Being placed on probation is considered a grace in the eyes of the criminal justice system. Defendants are afforded the opportunity to evade going to prison, or being thrown in the Bucks County Jail, and are able to continue living their lives in a society with limitations. Although most defendants understand that being placed on probation is a favorable alternative to being subjected to prosecution and its consequences, it can still be a harsh punishment. Depending on the conditions imposed and the length of a term, probation can be a large inconvenience in the lives of defendants. For those who feel unreasonably restricted by their probation conditions, complying with these conditions may be extremely difficult, if not impossible. In the event that these standards are not met, a defendant may be accused of committing a “technical” violation of probation.
Technical Probation Violations in Bucks County
A technical violation is the most common probation violation committed by defendants. Since it is committed frequently, many individuals consider it to be a minor infraction that won't lead to serious repercussions. But in some circumstances, the committance of technical violations have triggered revocation hearings, causing defendants to be subject to re-sentencing for the original crime committed. But this time around, the presumption of innocence will be void, and your fate will be decided at the discretion of a judge rather than a jury.
There are a number of different ways to violate probation. The following technical violations are commonly committed by defendants:
- Failing to complete community service hours
- Leaving the country or state without requesting approval from a probation officer
- Failing to report a change in employment or address
- Using drugs and/or alcohol during the probationary period
- Failing to initiate and/or complete a court-ordered program (mental health protocol, substance abuse treatment, anger management etc.)
- Failing to pay restitution, fines, court costs and any other fees related to criminal matters
- Possessing a firearm or weapon
The Probation Violation Process
When a probation officer receives word of an alleged probation violation, he or she will file an affidavit to the court detailing the circumstances of the violation. The court will then one of two decisions based on an assessment of the case: more stringent probation conditions, or a complete revocation of probation altogether.
Technical Violations and Detainers
In response to acquiring new charges, a probation officer may issue you a detainer. A detainer is an order that prohibits defendants from being released from jail until charges are mitigated. Once a detainer is lodged, defendants have been forced to remain in custody for weeks and even months until charges are completed sorted out.
Lifting a detainer is only possible with the assistance of an attorney. A legal professional can file a written motion on your behalf that explains why you should be able to defend these new charges outside of a jail cell.
Bucks County Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been accused of violating probation in Bucks County, it is important you immediately consult with an attorney. Skilled attorney Joseph D. Lento is here to help represent you in Doylestown in your time of need. Contact him today for help.