A person is paroled after they have already served a portion of their prison sentence. The terms of parole may vary, but a violation will lead to serious consequences.
There are several different types of parole violations you should be aware of. Technical violations involve breaking the rule and terms of parole. Failing drug tests, breaking curfew, or failing to report to your parole officer are technical violations. Another way to violate parole is by being arrested for a new criminal offense. Once you have been arrested for a parole violation, you will face two hearings. These are called Gagnon hearings in Philadelphia, and they are meant to determine whether you should be detained and whether you actually violated your parole. After being arrested for a parole violation, you should immediately reach out to an attorney for help. Depending on your alleged violation, you might have several options for your defense.
After being arrested for an alleged parole violation, you should speak to our Philadelphia criminal defense attorneys as soon as possible. Call The Law Offices of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171 for a free case review.
Types of Parole Violations in Philadelphia
Before discussing the consequences of parole violations, you should understand how parole can be violated. Generally, there are two ways to violate your parole. First, committing a new crime is considered a parole violation. Second, you can commit technical violations, which are violations of the specific terms of your parole. Our Philadelphia parole violation defense attorneys have handled numerous cases involving both kinds of violations and can help you through your case.
Perhaps the most important rule for people on parole is to avoid new crimes. Committing a new crime is a serious parole violation and may lead to being rearrested and possibly having your parole revoked. You will also face the consequences for the new crime, which might include additional incarceration and fines.
Technical violations are not necessarily new crimes but are violations of the terms and conditions of your parole. When a person is paroled, they are released on the condition that they follow strict rules to ensure good behavior. These rules often differ from case to case but may include passing drug tests, abiding by curfews, and regular visits with a parole officer. A technical violation may lead to being rearrested and the possibility of having parole revoked.
What Happens When Violate Parole in Philadelphia?
Once you have been arrested for a parole violation in Philadelphia, you may face two hearings. These are referred to as Gagnon hearings and are meant to determine whether you should be detained and whether you actually violated your parole. Our Bucks County criminal defense attorneys can represent you at your Gagnon hearings and fight for your release.
The first hearing is a Gagnon I hearing, at which the court will determine if you should be detained until the next hearing. This proceeding is also often called a detainer hearing. At the Gagnon I hearing, the court will decide if enough probable cause exists to hold you responsible for the alleged parole violation. The court also decides if you should remain in custody until the next hearing. This means your attorney must fight on two fronts: the probable cause that you violated your parole and the issue of detention.
At the Gagnon II hearings, the court will determine whether you actually violated your parole. If your supposed violation included a new crime, the Gagnon II hearing is not the trial for this crime. Any new charges stemming from a parole violation are determined in a separate criminal trial. Instead, the court will decide if the facts support parole revocation or other sanctions are more appropriate.
Our Philadelphia parole violation defense attorneys can help you argue for the least restrictive penalties possible. Not all parole violations end with revocation and being sent back to prison. Instead, the court might be persuaded to impose stricter parole conditions while allowing you to remain out of incarceration.
Contacting a Lawyer After a Parole Violation in Philadelphia
If you suspect you might soon be arrested for a parole violation, you should contact an attorney immediately. Not all violations are intentional, and courts sometimes offer leniency in such circumstances. Our Northeast Philadelphia criminal defense attorneys can help you get a jump on clearing your name and remaining out of prison.
We should immediately begin gathering evidence demonstrating you did not violate parole or that the violation was unintentional or minor. For example, if you are alleged to have committed a technical violation, we can look for evidence that the violation was unintentional or beyond your control. If you were arrested for a new crime, we can work on fighting those new charges in addition to your charges for parole violation.
Defending Yourself Against Allegations of Violating Parole in Philadelphia
If you have already been arrested, you should still contact an attorney because you should have someone by your side during your upcoming Gagnon hearings. Being arrested for a parole violation does not automatically mean your parole will be revoked. The court must prove that you committed the violation and that revocation is the best solution. This leaves us with multiple options for arguing your case.
One approach is to challenge the probable cause in your Gagnon I hearing. You must be released if the prosecutor cannot establish sufficient probable cause to hold you. We can point to a lack of evidence from the prosecution to undermine their probable cause. Alternatively, we can highlight your history of due diligence and adherence to the terms of your parole up to this point.
Even if prosecutors can prove their case, we can still argue for some penalties other than revocation. Revocation is not automatic, and you may still remain out of prison. However, you might have to face stricter parole conditions. For example, earlier curfews, more frequent meetings with parole officers, or even house arrest are possible alternatives to revocation.
Call Our Philadelphia Parole Violation Defense Attorney Today
After being accused of violating your parole, you might face serious consequences, including being sent back to prison. Our Montgomery criminal defense attorneys can help you clear your name and stay out of prison. Call The Law Offices of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171 for a free case evaluation.