Chester County Probation & Parole Violations

Probation and parole are two alternatives to jail time for a person who was convicted of a crime. These alternatives are essentially freedom from incarceration, provided that the defendant remains within the bounds of the conditions set by the court. Common terms of probation may include residing at one permanent address known by the court, drug testing, attending court-mandated programs, and regular check-ins with a probation officer. In Chester County, a probation officer will be assigned to a defendant by the Probation & Parole Department of the Chester County Court of Common Pleas; the Court of Common Pleas being located in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

Chester County Probation Violations

When a person has been accused of violating the terms of their probation, also known as a "VOP," they will be subjected to punishments from the court. Potential actions from the court can include increased probationary periods and placing a person into incarceration altogether. Defendants have a chance to defend themselves through a hearing process at the court.

Chester County Gagnon I Hearing (Detainer)

The first step in the hearing process is formally known as a Gagnon I Hearing, however, it is also sometimes referred to as a Detainer Hearing. These hearings are meant to determine two things: if the defendant is to remain under state custody, and if the probation officer has "probable cause" to bring a violation of probation charges against a person. The probation officer will be responsible for bringing a sufficient amount of evidence against the defendant. A hearing officer, rather than a judge, will be present to decide whether or not probable cause has been established. Defendants will have an opportunity to present their own supporting evidence.

Chester County Gagnon II Hearing (Violation of Probation/Parole)

The second and final hearing in the probation violation process is known as a Gagnon II Hearing, or a Violation of Probation/Parole Hearing. A judge will be present for this hearing to adjudicate the matter and make the final decision. In addition, a prosecutor will be presenting evidence against the defendant. The standard of "a preponderance of evidence" instead of "beyond a reasonable doubt" will be used. This means that a prosecutor has a much lower hurdle to clear in order to secure the judge's decision. Defendants will be able to bring their own supporting evidence into the arguments during this phase as well.

Can a probation violation attorney help lift a detainer in Chester County?

Lifting a detainer in Chester County is not easy, but depending on the circumstances, may be possible. The position of the Chester County Probation Department, as may be expected, will generally not help defendants facing alleged probation violations in West Chester, PA. For example, the defendant's probation officer will almost always recommend that the detainer remain "in place" at the Gagnon I hearing pending the Gagnon II VOP hearing; which would generally take place before the defendant's "back" judge (the judge who sentenced the defendant).

If the proper steps are taken and an aggressive defense is mounted, however, the likelihood of getting the detainer lifted at the detainer hearing in West Chester will be greatly increased. In fact, in limited instances, it may even be possible to get the "back" judge to order lifting the detainer in advance of the detainer hearing itself - if the judge approves that the detainer be lifted in advance of the Gagnon I hearing in West Chester, the question of whether the detainer would otherwise remain in place will not be at issue at the time of the hearing itself.

Probation in Chester County, Pennsylvania

The Chester County Probation & Parole Department is located at 201 Market Street, West Chester, PA 19382.

Chester County VOP Attorney | West Chester Violation of Probation Attorney

Allegations of violations of probation or parole can turn an already delicate situation into a dire one. Because of the lower evidence standard, the court does not require nearly as much evidence to prove that a person has violated their probation as they would to convict a person of a crime. In addition, the penalties for these violations can further reduce a person's freedoms. Legal representation from an aggressive and diligent criminal defense attorney is of utmost importance.

Attorney Joseph D. Lento worked as a probation officer while attending Temple University's Beasley School of Law at night, and he knows which defense strategies will work best when a client is facing a violation of probation or parole in West Chester. Whether the violation is due to a new arrest, positive drug screen, failure to report, or any other factor, Joseph Lento knows how to approach the Chester County Court, the judge, the Chester County Prosecutor's Office, and the probation officer, and he is not satisfied until he gets his clients the best possible result. Joseph's experience both behind the scenes and on the frontlines allows him to understand a client's probation violation from all angles and allows him to find and employ the most effective strategies to get favorable outcomes for any client.

If you or a loved one has been accused of violating their probation or parole in West Chester or Chester County, PA, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.

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Attorney Joseph D. Lento has nearly a decade of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the Lento Law Firm today! Criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania and New Jersey attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations – the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Berks, Lancaster, Lehigh, and Northampton County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, Outside of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance is educational advice, and does not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.

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