Being arrested while on probation warrants completely different repercussions than an arrest without any prior run-ins with law enforcement. One of the major difficulties that defendants are concerned about when arrested while on probation in Philadelphia is the issuing of a detainer. Defendants in these circumstances oftentimes seek out a legal professional to learn about the functions and practicalities involving detainers. For the purposes of this article, we will address (1) what a probation detainer is, (2) and how it can be lifted with the help of an attorney in Philadelphia.
What is a probation detainer?
Once a defendant's probation has been violated, the probation officer that is assigned to them can suggest that they be put behind bars without the option to post bail. This order to not release him or her due to new charges is called a detainer. Until defendants in this situation find legal counsel to address and ultimately lift the detainer, it will almost always remain in effect until the new charges have been resolved. As a result, they are subjected to time in jail for weeks and even months before they find out the outcome of their case. If a defendant is found not guilty in a case, he or she will likely be released without a hearing. However, if a defendant is found guilty of the new charges then a probation violation hearing will be scheduled within a few weeks. During the hearing, a judge typically imposes a new sentence for the violation, which includes either an extended probationary period or a jail term.
How do I get a detainer lifted?
In some circumstances, defendants can potentially lift a detainer to fight the new charges pinned against them while out on bail. His or her prospective probation officer will generally not lift a detainer without a judge's order to do so; therefore, the only other viable option is to retain an attorney. A skilled attorney can help a defendant file a written motion that details their probation history, the allegations in the new case and provide valid reasons as to why a defendant should be granted the opportunity to fight these charges from the outside rather than in custody. An attorney will also be able to assess your case and pinpoint faults and weaknesses in the evidence against a defendant to justify the lifting of a retainer to a judge.
When mitigation evidence is compelling and the charges are not considered serious, the odds of getting a detainer lifted are even higher. Ultimately, getting help from a legal professional will maximize the likelihood of a defendant's retainer being lifted.
Philadelphia Defense Attorney
If you have been issued a detainer due to a probation violation, it is in your best interest to consult with an attorney immediately. Experienced attorney Joseph D. Lento has experience getting detainers lifted for defendants in Philadelphia and throughout Pennsylvania. Contact him today for help.