Although probation is considered a grace sentence, it is one that comes with a lot of responsibility. Defendants are required to comply with conditions that may be hard to fulfill when enduring financial or personal setbacks. But most importantly, probation is a conditional sentence. Once a judge has determined that a violation has occurred, the sentence may be revoked, and a defendant is left to face the reinstatement of their original charges.
If you have multiple probation issues in more than one county, the steps you take in response to these issues could prevent you from suffering serious ramifications. Here are a few pieces of advice that you should consider:
Report the incident
This is an important time for you to remember the terms of your probation. You, along with most defendants, are likely ordered by the court to report any new arrests or run-ins with law enforcement within a given timeframe. Despite how frightened you may be of the consequences, it would be in your best interest to be the first one to report the bad news to your probation officer.
We do not live in the olden days when criminal records in other counties require actual effort to access. In modern times, databases are developed, detailed and pretty easily accessible. This means that the prosecutors in the county you were arrested, and your probation officer will likely find out before the time you are required to let them know. In many cases, a probation officer will receive notice of your arrest, refuse to tell you, and just arrest you when you show up for your periodic appointment.
Failing to report an arrest within the given timeframe is a separate violation, and sends a message to the authorities that you are not trustworthy. Biting the bullet for now could make a bad situation less severe in the long run.
Contact an attorney
Contacting an attorney is the single most important response to any issues that arise during probation. Whether it be a an arrest for a new crime, or you have failed to comply with one of the conditions of your term, an attorney can help resolve these issues before they warrant serious repercussions.
Being accused of violating probation can lead to a series of issues that you want to avoid at all costs. Once your probation officer receives notice of an alleged violation, a warrant will put be put out for your arrest, and once you've been arrested, you'll be issued a detainer. A detainer bars you from posting bail and being released from jail until the violation has been mitigated.
With the help of an attorney on your side, these issues can be alleviated. They can convince the judge to not issue a warrant for your arrest, and file a motion to lift a detainer once you are in police custody. If you've acquired new charges, an attorney can build a solid defense for your case, vouch for a reduced sentence or get your case dismissed altogether.
Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Attorney
As you can see, an alleged probation violation is damaging. If you are on probation and are experiencing issues in different counties, working with skilled attorney Joseph D. Lento can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. Contact him today for help.