If you've been placed on probation, you know the terrifying feeling of being in a courtroom and having your fate decided by a judge or jury. Although most people in this predicament are grateful that they have evaded serving time in prison, or in the Montgomery County jail, it can still be an extremely onerous experience.
For some individuals, being placed on probation does not affect how they go about their daily lives. But for others - especially those with an abundance of conditions to comply with - probation can be a serious inconvenience that makes completely adhering to probationary terms difficult, if not impossible. Individuals who are most affected by the restrictive nature of probation should be aware of what's at stake when they fail to comply with their conditions and commit a “direct violation” of probation.
Direct Violations in Montgomery County
Each defendant's probation term and conditions are generally based on the nature of the crime that was committed, which makes each term highly individualized. However, there is one condition that every defendant must comply with despite the circumstances: staying out of trouble with the law.
In some states, a defendant who acquires new charges and is ultimately found guilty for this crime has officially committed a direct violation of probation. But in Pennsylvania, merely being arrested for a crime while on probation may lead to the revocation of a defendant's probation. Even if a defendant is not convicted of these new charges, Pennsylvania's system allows for judges to re-sentence him or her for a direct violation. Since revocation hearings require a lower standard of proof than actual trials, sentencing in these cases oftentimes include the maximum term for the original offense.
Detainers and Direct Probation Violations
Once an alleged direct violation is reported, a probation officer may issue a detainer against you. A detainer prohibits defendants from posting bail and being released from jail after an arrest until the charges they've acquired are resolved. People who are issued detainers find themselves spending weeks and even months behind bars while their charges are mitigated.
The only way to lift a detainer is through the assistance of an attorney. A skilled legal professional can file a motion on your behalf that explains why should be able to fight these new charges outside of police custody. A skilled defense attorney will also be able to find the weaknesses in the evidence provided against you in light of these new allegations.
Montgomery County Criminal Defense Attorney
An attorney can be incredibly valuable in serious cases involving a direct probation violation. This is why it's important that you immediately contact one when accused of violating probation. Knowledgeable legal professional Joseph D. Lento has successfully represented clients in Norristown who have been in your shoes before, and he can do the same for you. Contact him today for help.