Criminal convictions, luckily, do not always result in jail time for defendants. Instead, the court may opt to provide the defendant with a period of probation, instead of jail. Probation is a period of court supervision that typically includes a number of terms, or rules, that the defendant must adhere to in order to remain outside of incarceration. Most probation terms require a defendant to undergo drug testing, regular check-ins with a probation officer, and maintenance of a permanent residence. While probation is a much better alternative to incarceration, it can still feel very restrictive on a defendant's rights. Depending on the circumstances of the case, a defendant may be able to file for an early termination of probation. This can be done at the Northampton County Court of Common Pleas Adult Probation department, located in Easton, PA.
Termination of Probation in Northampton County
Filing for an early termination of one's probation can be a frustrating and time-consuming process. Not only must a person continue to adhere to their probationary terms during this time, but they must also navigate the perils of the legal system at the same time. Probation often includes terms that require a defendant to attend rehabilitative or community service programs, upon completion, however, a defendant may still have time left over in their period of probation. At this point a defendant may wish to terminate the probation period early. They can file a motion to do so, and the court will consider the following:
- Any incidents involving a violation of the probation terms
- The defendant's criminal history
- The defendant's cooperativeness with their probation officer
- The arguments and evidence presented by the defendant
Termination of Probation Hearings in Northampton County
Once a motion for termination of probation has been filed, the defendant's probation officer will be notified. The officer can either agree to motion or can contest the motion. If the officer agrees, the defendant can begin the process for termination of probation. If the officer contests, however, a hearing will be arranged. At the hearing, the defendant must defend their reason for requesting termination with strong argument and convincing evidence. The judge will make the final decision in these hearings.
Negotiating a termination of probation can be difficult while under the time constraints of probationary terms. While it is possible to file for termination without an attorney, retaining an attorney's services in this process can not only make sure that the paperwork will be filed correctly and swiftly but also can give the defendant a strong edge in the courtroom, in case the matter comes to a hearing.