Defining Legal Actions Through a Discussion with a Probation Violation Lawyer in Lititz

In Pennsylvania, some criminal defendants are assigned probation instead of prison sentences depending on their case. For some, probation is assigned after they are released from prison. Any violation of the terms of this order leads to additional criminal penalties. The details below define legal actions that the defendant should discuss with a probation violation lawyer in Lititz.

What Are Probation Violations?

Any individual who is on probation and is arrested for any additional charge has committed a probation violation. Additional actions, like failing to report their parole officer about vital changes such as their address or employment, equate to a violation. Failure to remain employed, pay restitution, or pay applicable fines is also a violation. Any individual on probation that fails a drug or alcohol test will be taken into custody immediately.

What Is a Gagnon I Hearing?

The Gagnon I hearing is the first step in the probation revocation process. At this time, the probation officer must present substantial evidence that the individual has violated their probation. The defendant can present their own evidence showing that they aren’t guilty of the violation. If the probation officer cannot provide evidence of a violation, the revocation process is stopped. The probation officer must issue an official notice to the individual detailing the exact violation and provide them with a court date for the hearing.

What Happens in a Gagnon II Hearing?

This hearing is the final step in the revocation process. All evidence is presented to the judge for extensive review and to determine if a violation occurred as outlined in the probation terms. All witnesses associated with the alleged violation are questioned by the prosecutor and the individual’s legal counsel. The individual must enter a plea at the beginning of the hearing. The judge makes a final ruling and issues a new sentence if the individual is found guilty.

In Pennsylvania, criminal defendants who receive probation must follow all provisions carefully. Any failure to obey the terms leads to a new arrest and further criminal penalties. Individuals accused of a probation violation should contact a probation violation lawyer in Lititz through the Law Offices of Melissa R. Montgomery.

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