What Is it Like Being on Probation in Pennsylvania?April 25, 2017
Criminal probation in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is not a conviction. However, during your criminal probation, it is absolutely essential that you comply with all of the terms of your probation to the letter. The most common probation violations include failing to pay fines or costs, leaving the country unlawfully, violating your curfew, failing to meet with your probation officer, testing positive for drugs, and being arrested and charged with another crime while on probation. All of these violations can result in harsh consequences. In most cases, if you violate your probation, a Pennsylvania judge will issue a bench warrant ordering that you be arrested – and that you be held without bail.
In some cases, upon successful completion of your probation, you may be able to obtain a criminal records expungement if you do not have any other open or active cases in the system.
If you have been charged with a crime in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, probation may be a strong alternative to prison. Probation is normally granted at a Pennsylvania judge’s discretion. That’s why you need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side representing you every step of the way. In addition to advocating for you in court, an experienced Philadelphia criminal defense attorney will be able to review your individual circumstances and may be able to assist you with petitioning the court to end your probation ahead of schedule.
Criminal Probation in Pennsylvania – General Facts
All criminal probation matters in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania fall within the jurisdiction of the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole. A judge may place a person on probation – as opposed to sentencing him or her to jail time – if the crime was not serious and/or if the judge felt that community service or some other punishment was more appropriate. The main purpose of a criminal probation is to help the offender rehabilitate and become a law-abiding citizen and productive member of society.
Over the course of the probation, the offender will be required to meet with a probation officer at certain intervals. Probation officers are appointed to act as mentors, to oversee the probation, and to make sure that the offender is complying with all of the terms and conditions of the probation.
Terms and Conditions of Criminal Probation
- The terms and conditions of a criminal probation are likely to consist of some or all of the following:
- Regular meetings with an assigned probation officer
- Restrictions on work
- Restrictions on travel
- Restrictions on contact with various individuals during the probation term
- Drug testing at certain required intervals over the course of the probation
- Payment of fines and other costs
Contact a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Criminal Defense Attorney Today
Criminal probation has many benefits and can be a welcome alternative to lengthy jail time. Criminal defense attorney Brian J. Zeiger can review the individual circumstances of your case and explain all of your legal options to you. You should contact attorney Brian J. Zeiger of The Zeiger Firm today at 215-546-0340, or contact him online for a free initial consultation.