Probation is granted to defendants upon conviction in lieu of serving their sentence in jail. Typically a term of probation comes with any number of requirements and regulations that a defendant must adhere to, lest they be thrown in jail, or have to start their probation from the beginning. The terms of a defendant's probation are heavily dependent on what crime they were convicted of. Common terms of probation can include regular drug testing, and scheduled check ins with a probation officer. Although a defendant is not behind bars, probation can feel very restrictive. Defendants may be able to file for an early termination of probation depending on the circumstances. This can be done within the Adult Probation division of the Berks county Court of Common Pleas, located within Reading, PA.
Termination of Probation in Berks County
When a person wishes to file for an early termination of probation, the process can be lengthy and difficult. The defendant must not only adhere to the regular terms of their probation, but they will also likely be required to attended any rehabilitative service programs, community service programs, or other associated programs while serving their probation. Even if a defendant has completed all their assigned programs, their probation may still have time left to complete. If this is the case, it may be in a defendant's interests to file for a termination of their probation. When determining whether or not a defendant is eligible for an early probation conclusion, they will examine the following:
- Any and all incidents of violations during a defendant's probation term
- The defendant's history of criminal activity
- The strength of the defendant's argument for termination of probation
- The defendant's overall attitude and cooperation with probation services
Termination of Probation Hearings in Berks County
Probation termination motions are often met with the prospect of a hearing. First, the probation officer will be notified that a defendant wishes to terminate their probation. Next, the officer must either agree to the termination or contest the release. If the officer agrees with the motion, proceedings for finalizing the termination can be held. If the officer does not agree with the motion, a hearing will be held. At the hearing, a defendant must present an argument and supporting evidence for their release from probation. A judge will likely preside over this hearing, and will likely make the final decision on the matter.
Probation places a defendant under strict time constraints. While the filing can be done without the aid of an attorney, an attorney can give a defendant a strong edge at a hearing, and in their initial petition for termination. In addition to this, help from an attorney can ensure that a filing makes it way through the court smoothly and efficiently.