If you were granted probation for a DUI conviction but later are accused of violating it, you could face jail time for the violation. Philadelphia DUI defense attorney Joseph D. Lento has handled many violations of probation hearings (VOP hearings) for his clients. If you have been accused of violating your DUI probation, contact Joseph D. Lento today to get started on your defense. Time is of the essence because if you contact attorney Lento before the VOP hearing, he can help reduce the consequences and negotiate alternatives to any potential incarceration due to the violation.
What constitutes a DUI probation violation in Philadelphia?
There are two basic ways you can violate your DUI probation in Philadelphia:
- You could violate the terms or conditions of your probation -- this is known as a technical VOP; or
- You could be arrested for and subsequently convicted of another crime -- this is known as a direct VOP.
Technical Violation of a DUI Probation
A technical violation of a DUI probation basically means you failed to comply with probation terms. Examples of ways you could violate the terms can include:
- You may regularly test positive for drugs or alcohol.
- You may have been caught driving someone else's car to avoid the ignition interlock device on your vehicle.
- You may have failed to report to your probation officer.
- You may not have attended a court-ordered drug or alcohol program.
- You may have failed to find employment.
- You may have failed to pay a fine or fee.
Any of these violations can get you into trouble. Your probation officer has a lot of discretion when it comes to charging you with a violation. Once charged, you can be arrested. At the VOP hearing, the judge and not a jury will determine if you violated the terms of probation and if so, the judge has considerable leeway with sentencing, which could include:
- An order to continue probation;
- A new sentence with additional probation and modified terms; or
- Incarceration for a period not to exceed the maximum for your DUI conviction.
Direct Violation of a DUI Probation
Direct probation refers to a violation of probation when you have been convicted of another crime. That crime could be another DUI or it could be petty theft -- all that matters is that you were convicted of another crime while on DUI probation.
Direct violations can be particularly serious because there is the potential the judge will order a detainer. If so, you will not be released from jail or prison until the detainer is lifted and typically that could mean the duration of your new case, which could be months.
With that said, the stakes are high if you violate your probation, whether it's by a technical reason or by a new arrest
Contact a DUI Probation Violation Defense Attorney Today
With more than 15 years defending his clients in Pennsylvania, Joseph D. Lento has the insight and resources to develop an aggressive and smart approach to your case. He understands the law and knows how to use it to maximize your chances of an outcome most favorable to you. Contact the Lento Law Firm today either online or at 215-535-5353 to set up a consultation and learn more about how Joseph D. Lento may be able to help you.