Probation is a common sentence imposed on defendants throughout Philadelphia. Instead of serving a typical prison term, the prison term is suspended, and the defendant must serve their time on probation. As long as the defendant adheres to all the terms and conditions of their probation, of which there may be many, everything will be fine. However, when defendants violate the terms of their probation, they may be rearrested. Probation and parole violators are often arrested and held on detainers. These detainers prevent them from being released until any new crimes or charges are resolved in court. Read on to learn more from the Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer at The Law Offices of Lloyd Long about detainers in Philadelphia.
What is a Detainer in Philadelphia?
A detainer may be issued after a defendant is arrested for a probation or parole violation in Philadelphia. The detainer is often issued at the parole or probation officer’s request to hold the defendant in jail without bail. Ordinarily, when someone is arrested and charged with a crime, they have a right to reasonable bail. This is not the case for people who have been arrested while on probation or parole. The terms of someone’s probation generally requires them to stay out of legal trouble. Getting in trouble while already in trouble allows for some extra penalties.
While held on a detainer, a defendant can be held in jail without bail until the courts resolve any new charges they have. Depending on what you have been charged with, this could mean several weeks or even several months in jail waiting for your trial. If found guilty, you may face a new prison term for your new charges in addition to the prison term for which you were on probation.
Getting a Detainer Lifted in Philadelphia
Getting a detainer lifted is no easy matter. Your first step should be to hire our qualified Philadelphia probation violation attorney who understands how detainers work in Philadelphia. You will then have to show the court reasons why you should be allowed to fight your new charges while released from jail. Factors such as your criminal history, ties to your community, family relationships, and other mitigating circumstances can all be used to bolster your case. Only a judge has the authority to lift your detainer. We can also challenge the evidence against you that got you locked up on a detainer in the first place. Perhaps your violation was very minor or a result of circumstances beyond your control. All these things can be argued and considered when trying to lift a detainer.
The judge will also consider the seriousness of your crimes at your detainer hearing. The more serious your probation or parole violation was, such as a violent felony, the less likely a judge will lift your detainer. However, if your violations were relatively minor, such as a technical probation violation, a judge may be more inclined to lift your detainer and release you until your new hearing. Your preexisting charges for which you were on probation or parole may also be considered. Similarly, the more serious these crimes were, the less likely a judge will want to lift your detainer. Additionally, a lengthy criminal history will show a judge that you do not learn from past mistakes, and the judge may be less inclined to lift your detainer.
How Long Will It Take to Get a Detainer Lifted in Philadelphia?
If your detainer is successfully lifted, you will be released from jail to await trial on any new charges. However, getting to that point might take some time. A detainer may only be lifted if you request a detainer hearing. Your Montgomery County criminal defense attorney can do this by filing a motion with the court. If your detainer is lifted, you can be released the day of your hearing., However, depending on how busy the courts are, you might have to wait until a hearing can be scheduled. It may take several weeks for a hearing to be scheduled, and the hearing date will be later still.
You may file a motion to lift your detainer as soon as possible, but the courts have a lot of discretion when scheduling your hearing. Ultimately, how long you must wait in jail until your detainer can be lifted will depend on the judge in charge of your hearing. Some judges prefer to handle cases as soon as possible. Other judges prefer to take their time. You won’t know for sure how long the process might take until you get your hearing scheduled.
Always remember, successfully having your detainer lifted does not mean you will not return to prison at a later date. There may still be new criminal charges to contend with in addition to consequences for violating parole or probation, and our Delaware County criminal defense lawyers can help.
Contact Our Philadelphia Detainer Attorney for a Free Legal Consultation
If you or someone you know is being held on a detainer in Philadelphia, do not hesitate to reach out to our skilled probation violation and criminal defense attorneys in Bucks County. Our legal team will help you file a motion to get your detainer lifted and argue your case in court. Call The Law Offices of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171 to schedule a free legal consultation.