After a person has been convicted of a crime, the court will hold a sentencing hearing to determine what is appropriate for their crime. A person's criminal sentence will depend on their crime, and any arguments made during their sentencing hearing. At times, the judge may offer a person probation, rather than serving their time in prison. Probation is a means of court supervision where a defendant must adhere to certain terms, lest they are sent to jail. Terms will typically include regular drug testing, maintaining a constant address, and meeting with a probation officer. In addition, a defendant may have to attend rehabilitative programs or community service as well. Matters of probation are handled within the Adult Probation Department of the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas, located in Norristown, PA.
Termination of Probation Filings in Montgomery County
Probationary periods are typically set for a period of time to allow the defendant to enter society under supervision. The period of probation will also likely have some sort of program such as community services or rehabilitation for the defendant to participate in. Once these programs are fulfilled, the period of probation may still remain. At this time it may be a good idea for a defendant to request the termination of their probation. The following factors will play a role in any termination requests:
- The defendant's cooperativeness with their probation officer
- The crime the defendant was convicted of
- The defendant's completion of assigned programs
- Any failures to adhere to the terms of probation
- The defendant's arguments and evidence to show that their probation should be terminated
Hearings to Terminate Probation in Montgomery County
A motion to terminate probation can help a defendant get their life in order sooner. Once a filing is done, the probation officer will be notified of the filing. At this point, the probation officer can either agree to end probation or disagree with the motion. If the probation officer agrees, the process for ending probation can begin, however, if the officer disagrees, then a hearing will be held, and a judge will make the ultimate decision in the matter. hearings will be decided by evidence and argument.
When considering filing for an early termination of probation, some defendants will consider filing these motions themselves or with a public defender, however, a private attorney can dedicate more time and resources to a person's case. Probation has terms that drain a defendant's time to build their arguments, while a private attorney will not only be able to build the defensive arguments, but also provide representation in court.