Probation violations are not something to take lightly in Pennsylvania. Violating your probation can lead to life-changing consequences, including anything from a verbal warning to jail time. Several factors go into the severity of your penalty if the judge finds you had a violation. You will want to fight these allegations, or at least attempt to persuade the judge to offer you a penalty that allows you to continue your job or school obligations.
If you stand accused of a probation violation in Norristown, PA, attorney David C. McKenzie III and the team from the McKenzie Law Firm, P.C., can help. We can explain your rights and ensure they remain protected throughout this process. We can also represent you in the best possible light as we fight for a positive outcome in your hearing. Call 610-680-7842 today to speak with a violation of probation lawyer in Norristown.
Your Rights After a Probation Violation Accusation
You have a number of rights after a probation violation allegation. We can help ensure these remain protected and the process works as it should. This is the best way to get a positive outcome in your case. You have the right to:
- Receive a notice of your alleged violations in writing;
- A revocation hearing with a neutral judge;
- An attorney throughout this entire process; and
- Present evidence during the hearing to show you were not in violation of your probation.
How Can a Lawyer Help Me?
While you could represent yourself in your probation violation hearing, this is not always the best idea. Our legal team handles dozens of these hearings each year and we know what to expect. We always go in with one of two goals:
- To show our clients did not violate probation by providing a wealth of evidence; or
- To limit the damage a violation will cause by minimizing the penalty.
Before we represent you in front of the judge, we investigate the incident in question and collect all possible evidence to show you did not violate the terms of your probation. Police and probation officers can make mistakes. We may be able to prove their allegation wrong.
Alternatively, we may present documentation to show how well you are doing on probation. This could include:
- Certificates from any court-ordered counseling programs;
- Proof you attend school with good attendance;
- Proof you are working and earning a living;
- Documentation of any community engagement, such as participation in church or civic groups; and
- Evidence you are taking other steps to stay out of trouble and better your life.
Consequences of a Probation Violation in Norristown
Probation is an agreement between you and the judge that you will follow certain rules in exchange for not going to jail. Some of these rules are very strict, but it is worth it to most people to avoid incarceration. When you violate your probation, you break this agreement. This means the judge has the option of revoking the agreement entirely and sending you to jail.
If your probation officer reported a technical violation to the courts, or if you faced arrest for another crime, you will likely go in front of a judge for a revocation hearing. During this hearing, the judge will decide whether to send you to jail or take another action.
Probation revocation is the most troubling of the potential outcomes of a violation hearing, but it is rare. Judges have a lot of discretion in how they assign penalties for a violation. We can present evidence to show how a lighter consequence will cause less interference with your everyday life, especially work or school.
When deciding on the sentence you will face, the judge will look at:
- The evidence against you;
- The seriousness of any new crime;
- The nature of your violation;
- Your existing criminal record;
- Any recommendations from your probation officer;
- The case we make in favor of a certain penalty; and
- Whether or not this is your first probation violation.
Taking these factors into consideration, they may opt to:
- Find you did not violate your probation;
- Revoke your probation, sending you to jail;
- Modify your probation, changing the terms;
- Order you to attend alcohol or drug counseling;
- Order you to complete community service;
- Extend your probation for a longer period of time; or
- Issue a verbal warning.
Probation Violation Cases We Handle
We are standing by, ready to go to work on any type of probation violation in Norristown, Montgomery County, or the surrounding area. While we can handle any violation, some of the most common we work with include relatively minor technical missteps the court considers probation violations. These include:
- Failure to report to your probation officer;
- Failure to appear in court;
- Failed mandatory drug tests;
- Failure to meet terms of your probation, such as doing community service;
- Failure to complete court-ordered counseling programs; and
- Violating other terms or conditions of your probation.
We also handle accusations stemming from a new criminal charge. These are typically more serious than technical violations. They may include:
- Possession of illegal drugs;
- Other drug-related arrests;
- DUI or other alcohol-related crimes;
- Possession of weapons or other disallowed contraband; and
- Arrest for relatively minor criminal offenses, such as shoplifting.
Depending on the facts of your case, you could face serious penalties even if your previous crime and the new charge are completely unrelated. If you enlist our help, we can represent you during your probation violation hearing in addition to serving as your criminal defense counsel in the new case.
Call a Violation of Probation Lawyer in Norristown About Your Case
When your probation officer or the courts accuse you of violating your probation in Norristown, you need a strong defense for your actions. The McKenzie Law Firm, P.C., can help you get the best possible outcome based on the facts of your case. We will protect your rights and represent your interests throughout this process.
Call a violation of probation attorney today at 610-680-7842 for your free initial consultation.