If you face allegations that you violated your probation, it is important to take them seriously. The possible consequences of a probation violation can vary from a verbal warning from your probation officer to months or even years in jail.
Where you fall on this spectrum depends on many factors, but it is primarily based on the judge’s discretion. You need to present a strong defense against this accusation or have a lawyer on your side who can fight for the lightest possible penalty. Your job, education, and freedom could be in jeopardy. You do not have to fight this on your own. A violation of probation lawyer in Pottstown can help.
Probation violation lawyer David C. McKenzie III and the team from the McKenzie Law Firm, P.C., are here to help you get the best possible outcome from your probation violation hearing. We will help you understand your rights and protect them through every step of this process. We will represent you to the judge, presenting strong evidence on your behalf and showing the judge the positive strides you made on probation. One small mistake or false accusation does not have to derail your future. Call us today at 610-680-7842 to learn more about how we can help you.
Understanding Your Rights After a Pottstown Probation Violation
The Pennsylvania probation violation and revocation process has built-in protections to ensure you get a fair chance to defend yourself and avoid jail time and other harsh punishments. You have legal rights that help you understand the allegations against you, fare well in the hearing, and get a fair outcome.
During the probation revocation hearing process, you have the right to:
- Receive a written notice of your alleged violations;
- A revocation hearing in front of a neutral judge;
- Legal representation throughout the probation revocation process; and
- Present evidence and a strong defense during the hearing, showing you did not violate your probation or had an acceptable reason for doing so.
The Role of a Violation of Probation Lawyer
When we take on a client facing probation violation charges, we immediately go to work investigating the alleged violation. In each case, we have one of two goals:
- To collect all possible evidence and show you did not commit the violation; or
- To demonstrate you are thriving on probation and are a contributing member of your community who is working hard to overcome past mistakes.
If you committed a technical violation of the terms of your probation and this is your first offense, you stand a good chance of getting a verbal warning or another relatively minor punishment. If you committed a new crime, however, the judge may not be so forgiving. Depending on the facts of your case, you may face revocation of your probation, additional probation, and other harsh consequences.
We will work hard to keep you out of jail, both during your probation violation hearing and in your new criminal case. As your criminal defense counsel, we will fight aggressively to reduce or eliminate the charges against you—or to seek the least damaging sentence if a jury returns a guilty verdict.
Consequences of a Probation Violation in Pottstown
The worst possible outcome of most probation violation hearings is a probation revocation. The judge can revoke your probation and send you to jail immediately if you violate the terms of your agreement. Luckily, a revocation is rare. Judges have many options when handling these cases. We will fight for the option that allows you to continue working, going to class, and positively contributing to your community.
Before the judge decides whether to revoke your probation or issue a lighter sentence, they will consider:
- The evidence against you;
- The seriousness of the new crime or technical violation;
- Your history of criminal activity;
- Recommendations from your probation officer; and
- Any previous probation violations.
This could lead to any number of outcomes, such as:
- The judge determines you did not violate your probation;
- The judge issues a verbal warning;
- The judge orders you to serve a longer probationary period;
- The judge orders additional community service, alcohol or drug rehabilitation, or other counseling programs;
- The judge modifies the terms of your probation to add additional stipulations;
- The judge revokes your probation, and you go to jail for a limited sentence; or
- The judge revokes your probation, and you serve the full sentence you originally received.
Common Violation of Probation Accusations
While any technical violation or illegal act can violate the terms of your probation, there are a few common acts the courts consider probation violations. Common technical violations we handle include:
- Failure to appear in court or report to your probation officer;
- Failure to report for mandatory drug testing;
- A failed mandatory drug test;
- Failure to pay court-ordered restitution or fines; and
- Failure to complete a court-ordered counseling program.
When a person violates probation by committing—or getting arrested for—a new criminal charge, the courts typically treat this as a more serious offense. Some of the most common charges we handle include:
- Drug possession;
- Drunk driving;
- Another drug- or alcohol-related arrest;
- Possession of weapons or other banned contraband;
- Theft; and
- Arrest for relatively minor criminal offenses, such as shoplifting or vandalism.
Talk to a Violation of Probation Lawyer in Pottstown
If you face allegations of violating your Pottstown probation, you will likely have to appear in front of a judge to determine if you face any additional sanctions. The McKenzie Law Firm, P.C., can accompany you to this hearing and present a strong defense. We are here to represent you and fight for the best possible outcome. We will ensure your rights remain protected and work to limit the damage this does to your reputation and plans.
You can reach attorney David C. McKenzie III at 610-680-7842 today.