Being placed on probation in Montgomery County is obviously a favorable alternative to serving time or being in a county jail. However, it can still be considered a harsh punishment, depending on the terms of the probationary period and the length of its duration. For some individuals, probation doesn't largely affect their day to lives. But for others (particularly those with numerous conditions to adhere to), probation can be an incredibly onerous experience. Individuals who feel inordinately restricted by probation conditions should be aware of the slew of issues that could arise from refusing to comply with their conditions, and committing a “technical violation” of probation.
A technical violation is the most common probation violation. Since it is committed so often, many people perceive it as a minor infraction that likely won't warrant major repercussions. This couldn't be further from the truth. In some circumstances, technical violations have been the reason why defendants may face the same sentence they were prior to being put on probation. But this time around, they aren't granted a presumption of innocence, nor do they have the option to partake in a jury trial.
Technical Probation Violations in Montgomery County
Each defendant's probationary terms are determined based on the nature of the crime that was committed, which makes probation terms highly individualized. Therefore, there are a plethora of different ways to potentially violate probation.
Here are some examples of the most common technical violations to date:
- Possessing a firearm or weapon
- Failing to complete and/or complete a court-ordered program (substance treatment, mental health protocol, anger management etc.)
- Failing to pay fines, restitution, court costs and fees over criminal matters
- Failing to complete community service hours
- Leaving the state or country without requesting approval from a probation officer
- Failing to report a change in employment or address
- Using drugs and/or alcohol during the probationary period
People violate probation for different reasons. Some people simply did not devote enough time and attention to fulfilling the conditions, while others may have dealt with serious financial or personal hardships that made compliance difficult, if not impossible. Many people have reported having problems with a probation officer. They claim that it made their probationary period significantly more difficult than it had to be and that this issue was a large contributor to the filing of their violation petition.
The Probation Violation Process
When an individual allegedly violates probation, a probation officer will file an affidavit to the court detailing the technical violation. The court has two options based on the assessment of the circumstances: impose stricter probation conditions or completely revoke the probation period. If you think your agent is going to file a violation petition, contact an attorney immediately. A legal professional will be able to intervene by preventing a judge from issuing a warrant and a detainer.
Technical Violations and Detainers
When facing new charges, defendants may also be issued a detainer. A detainer is an order that forbids you from posting bail and being released from jail until after the charges are resolved. Due to the lodging of a detainer, defendants are left in custody for weeks and even months until charges are sorted out.
The only way to lift a detainer is through the assistance of an attorney who can file a motion on your behalf.
Montgomery County Criminal Defense Attorney
An attorney can be extremely valuable when it comes to solving lesser probationary issues in Montgomery County before they turn into violations. And if a violation has already been filed, an attorney can help defend you against an allegation, or significantly minimize the consequences of being found guilty of committing a technical violation. Legal professional Joseph D. Lento has extensive experience successfully representing clients in Norristown who have been in this predicament, and he can do the same for you. Contact him today for help.