The Consequences of a Probation Violation in Pennsylvania
In Pennsylvania, many of those convicted of criminal offenses are sentenced to parole. A parole order requires offenders to adhere to certain conditions, which could include supervision by a probation officer, treatment for drug and alcohol abuse and mandatory counseling. Failing to comply with all the terms of a parole order can have serious consequences, including jail time. If you or a loved one were recently charged with violating your probation or parole, it is important to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can help protect your interests.
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Probation Conditions and Terms
When a person is first put on parole, his or her parole officer will explain the conditions with which he or she must comply. The parolee is then required to sign a form acknowledging that he or she understands the conditions and is aware that special conditions could be added at a later date.
When a person violates a condition, he or she will be entitled to a hearing where the parole officer must establish by a preponderance of the evidence that the violation occurred.
Types of Parole Violations
In Pennsylvania, there are two types of parole violators, including:
- Convicted parole violators (CPVs); and
- Technical parole violators (TPVs).
CPVs are parolees who have violated the terms of their parole by committing a new crime. These individuals are detained in prison until their new charges have been settled, even if they post bail. If convicted, the parole board can require them to serve the balance of their sentence with no credit for their time on parole. TPVs, on the other hand, are parolees who only violate a condition of their parole, but don’t commit any new crimes.
If an offense was minor, the parole board uses a violation sanctioning grid to determine the extent and type of the punishment, which could include the imposition of additional conditions, such as:
- Placement in a substance abuse program;
- Performing a documented job search;
- A written travel restriction;
- Increased reporting requirements;
- Imposition of a curfew;
- Community service; and
- Increased random drug testing.
Alternatively, TPVs can be placed in a secure Parole Violator Center (PVC) where a treatment plan will be created. PVC residents are also required to participate in counseling sessions, AA or NA meetings, group therapy sessions, problem solving meetings, role playing sessions, and community meetings. Residents can be required to stay for up to six months. However, if a violation was sexual in nature, involved the possession of a weapon, or somehow represented a threat to public safety, the parolee will automatically be relocated to prison.