After a person has been convicted of a crime, the court will typically hold a sentencing hearing to determine whether or not a person is eligible for probation. Probation is an alternative to jail time that allows a defendant to be free from incarceration, provided that they stick to certain terms. Terms of probation will typically include regularly scheduled drug testing and check ins with a probation officer, and also can involve mandatory participation in court-ordered programs, such as rehabilitation or community service. While probation is often assigned with a definite beginning and end, it is possible for a defendant to request a termination of their probation early. The Adult Probation Division of the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas will handle any and all requests for termination of probation.
Termination of Probation in Bucks County
Probation is a restrictive situation for a person to be involved in. Terms of probation and mandatory program participation can often mean that a defendant has little time to themselves outside of work. If a defendant is assigned mandatory participation in community service or other rehabilitative programs, they may finish the program before their term of probation is over. If this happens, the defendant may wish to request to terminate their probation earlier than the scheduled date. If a motion is filed, the court will consider the following:
- The defendant's past criminal history
- The probation officer's opinion on the defendant's cooperativeness
- Any examples of the defendant violating their probation
- The defendant's arguments for terminating their probation
Hearings for Termination of Probation in Bucks County
When a defendant properly files their motion for a termination of probation, the court will notify the probation officer assigned to their case. At this stage, the probation officer must decide whether or not to agree to terminate probation or disagree with the motion. While a probation officer can agree to the motion, making the process for ending probation go much more smoothly, they may also disagree which will bring the matter to a hearing. Defendants must assert their evidence and arguments for termination in front of a judge, who will make the final decision on the matter.
While filing for termination of probation can be done without an attorney, finding the time to do so can be difficult under the time constraints of probation. In addition to this, defendants who have to go to hearings must represent themselves in front of a judge. An attorney will be able to conduct these filings for a probationer, and can even represent them at a hearing with clear argument and reasoning for their release from probation.