When you are found guilty of a crime, the judge may sentence you to probation instead of incarceration. Probation is sort of a trial period in which you are tested to determine if you can behave in accordance with the law. Likewise, when you get out of jail or prison and are set free after serving your sentence, you are also required to go through a trial period called parole in which you check in regularly with your parole officer and are monitored to ensure you are obeying the law.
When you are on probation or parole, a number of conditions may be imposed on you including checking in regularly with your probation or parole officer, staying in the state, and refraining from the use of drugs or alcohol. If you violate these or any other conditions of probation or parole that have been imposed by the judge or courts, you can be considered guilty of a probation or parole violation. Being found guilty of a probation or parole violation can result in you being sent back to jail or in you facing other penalties and consequences.
Fortunately, you have certain rights when you are accused of a probation or parole violation. The experienced criminal defense law firm of Lawrence R. Dworkin can help you to enforce your legal rights, defend yourself against accusations of a violation and hopefully avoid penalties or consequences based on the alleged violation. To learn more about how we can help you when you’ve been accused of probation and parole violations, contact us today.
In the past, if you violated probation or parole, your probation or parole officer could simply take action against you. However, this rule changed in 1973 in a Supreme Court case called Gagnon v. Scarpelli, 411 U.S. 778 (1973). In Gagnon v. Scarpelli, the court said that you were entitled to “due process” of the law when you were accused of a probation violation. In a later case, the Supreme Court subsequently extended this rule to also apply to accusations of probation violations.
Because you are entitled to due process of the law, there must be a legal proceeding in which you get to confront your accuser and argue that there is insufficient evidence of the probation/parole violation or why the violation should not result in additional consequences being imposed. Although the prosecutor has a lesser burden of proof than the beyond a reasonable doubt standard used for criminal trials, the he/she still has to show that it is more likely than not that the violation occurred. With the help of your Pennsylvania criminal defense lawyer, you may be able to introduce contrary evidence or defend yourself against the accusations. In additional a parole or probation violation does not have to lead to revocation and your attorney may be able to argue that the violation was justified or minor so that you do not face additional consequences.
To learn more about how we can help you when you’ve been accused of a probation or parole violation, contact the Pennsylvania criminal defense law firm of Lawrence R. Dworkin today using our online form or via phone at 610-566-0610.