Violating parole or probation in Pennsylvania can have serious consequences. Depending on how the parole and probation violations allegedly occurred, you could be sent straight to prison without a trial or face other serious consequences. At Mazzoni Karam Petorak & Valvano, we know the Commonwealth takes parole and probation violations seriously. That’s why our experienced Scranton criminal defense attorneys work so diligently to protect the rights of our clients. Without question, your entire life could be turned upside down, sometimes because of a simple mistake.
Our Scranton parole violation attorneys know the legal system inside and out. We know how the state officially calculates credit for time served in jail and what that means if you violate your parole agreement. We also have extensive experience handling probation violation cases in Lackawanna County and other neighboring jurisdictions.
What is the difference between parole and probation?
- Probation – An alternative to prison, probation allows people punished for a crime to avoid time in jail. While on probation, the defendant typically must report to a probation officer on a regular basis, often once or twice a week. While on probation, defendants must not be arrested for any other criminal violations and must often submit to drug testing.
- Parole – Defendants who serve time in prison are sometimes released before the end of their prison term, provided they remain on good behavior for the remainder of their uncompleted prison term. If the defendant commits a crime or violates other terms of his or her parole, the defendant will likely be returned to prison to serve the remainder of their prison term. The defendant might also be sentenced to further prison time depending on how the defendant violated parole.
These differences in parole and probation will also determine how a violation is handled. For example, state and county parole have different consequences given the stricter policies and procedures that must be followed on a state level. In addition:
- County parole procedures are governed by Pa.R.Crim.P. 708
- Pennsylvania State parole is more detailed and regulated by 37 Pa.Code § 71 et seq.
These procedural differences are complicated without having strong legal counsel behind you to guide you through the process and to ensure your rights are protected.
What are common ways people violate parole and probation?
The terms of each person’s parole and probation are unique. Some defendants have more strict probation rules, while others might have fewer conditions as part of their parole agreement. Some of the most common ways people violate probation or parole in Pennsylvania include:
- Committing another crime
- Failing to meet with a probation or parole officer
- Not appearing during a scheduled court appearance
- Failing a drug test
- Possession of illegal drugs
Did you know that Pennsylvania has the second-highest overall rate of correctional control in the country? In the Keystone State, if you are accused of committing a crime while on probation or parole, you may be issued a detainer which is an order to hold an individual for weeks or more while a judge determines if the individual’s sentence will be increased or if the charges for the violation will be dropped.
While this is meant to keep those on parole or probation from being behind bars, the reality is that many placed on a detainer will remain incarcerated for weeks or months prior to their violation will be heard.
Knowing that there is the possibility of being detained for an extended period of time for a probation violation, you need to seek legal counsel immediately.
“How can a Scranton attorney help me if I violated parole or probation?”
If you have violated the terms of your parole or probation, you need to take legal action quickly. Otherwise, you could find yourself behind bars for the remainder of your parole or probation sentence. However, it’s also important to understand that rules for parole or probation violations can often be vague. In many cases, the judge ruling on such violations has the flexibility to decide whether to send the defendant to jail. With so much at stake, it’s best to seek the advice of a highly skilled Scranton attorney who has a comprehensive understanding of state and federal laws and knows how to navigate the legal system in Pennsylvania.
“Why should I hire Mazzoni Karam Petorak & Valvano to represent me?”
Our lawyers are some of the most experienced attorneys in Lackawanna County. Our legal team includes a former two-term District Attorney and the former assistant city solicitor for the City of Scranton. We know how to quickly and carefully investigate parole or probation violations. We often find weaknesses with the state’s case, which can result in a favorable decision for our clients.
Find out how we can help you. Contact us and schedule a free case evaluation at Mazzoni Karam Petorak & Valvano. Call (570) 348-0776.