If you are on county parole or probation and your probation officer has reason to believe you have violated the terms of probation, the officer may request the court to place a detainer on you. This means that if you are not in custody, a warrant will be issued for your arrest and you will be taken into custody.
Additionally, if you are arrested and charged with committing a new offense, that alone is considered a technical violation of probation or parole. The judge overseeing your probation or parole will likely lodge a detainer. In some cases, the issuance of a detainer is automatic and the judge may not know about the detainer or how you were managing your life prior to your current situation. Even if you are able to raise bail for the new offense, as long as the detainer is in place, you cannot be released. The only way to gain your freedom is to petition the court and ask for the detainer to be lifted.
Philadelphia Detainer Petition Lawyer
Your only avenue for release is to hire an experienced attorney to file a detainer petition asking your back judge to lift your detainer. Only if the detainer is lifted can you then pay bail and fight your open case from the street.
Attorney Brian M. Fishman, a Philadelphia detainer petition lawyer with the Fishman Firm, LLC, has over a decade of experience working in criminal law. He spent four years as an Assistant District Attorney in Philadelphia. That experience gave him the ability to know in advance what to expect from the prosecutor fighting to keep your detainer in place and you in custody.
Attorney Fishman knows that one job of a probation officer is to argue that the detainer should remain in place pending the outcome of the open matter. He also knows how to get them to acknowledge that but for the new arrest, you have complied with all terms of your parole or probation. He will investigate the following and provide this information to the court in petitioning for your detainer to be lifted:
- All the facts of the new case, including the weaknesses in the case;
- Your educational experiences and achievements;
- Your family and employment background;
- Obtain character letters on your behalf;
- Obtain proof of employment;
- Insist that family appear in court to demonstrate your community ties.
Mr. Fishman will have witnesses appear in court for the detainer hearing to testify on your behalf. He has filed hundreds of detainer petitions. Although there is never any guarantee and every case is unique, he has had great success in having detainers lifted.
Philadelphia Parole Lawyer
Parole begins after you are released from custody following imposition and the serving of a sentence. Probation begins after the judge sentences you following a finding of guilt after a judge or jury trial or acceptance of a guilty plea and no period of incarceration is ordered as part of the sentence. If you have been sentenced to a term of parole or probation, you will be required to complete a number of conditions including, but not limited to:
- Paying court costs and fines;
- Paying restitution, if any;
- Submitting to random drug tests;
- Completing court-ordered community service;
- Meeting with your probation office on a bi-weekly or monthly basis;
- Completing anger management, parenting or vocational classes;
- Obtaining your GED;
- Seeking and maintaining gainful employment.
A new arrest or failure to comply with any of the above conditions or additional orders of the court can lead to a violation of probation.
Technical Violations of Parole in Philadelphia
A technical violations is any violation that does not involve conviction for a new offense. Therefore, a technical violation can be a new arrest, failure to pay court costs, fines or restitution, failing to report or absconding from probation, submitting positive drug screens, failing to obtain employment or complete required courses or failing to do any of the above required conditions. A refusal or walk-away from a drug screen will be considered a positive drug test and will likely result in a technical violation of probation.
Direct Violations of Parole in Philadelphia
A direct violation of probation occurs when you are arrested and convicted of a new criminal offense while on probation or parole for a prior conviction. In this situation, probation is generally revoked and the only consideration is what type of penalty you will face. However, if the new matter is a minor offense, you may not face any additional sentence. A back judge has a lot of discretion with a direct violation and therefore it is important that we provide your supervising judge with all of the positives you have achieved while on probation or parole to demonstrate that you do not deserve any additional sentence for the direct violation. While many believe that a direct violation always results in a harsher penalty than a technical violation, much depends on who your back judge is and the nature of the new conviction.
Circumstances of Parole Violations in Philadelphia
If you are on probation and doing your best to comply with the court-ordered requirements, odds are you are trying to remain out of trouble and reporting according to schedule. There are situations, however, when accidents happen and for some reason, you are unable to comply with the judge’s orders to report to your probation officer such as:
- Hospital stays;
- Mandatory work schedule;
- No transportation;
Life happens. Hiring a Philadelphia violation of probation lawyer will help you get through a tough situation involving a probation violation if for some unexpected reason, you can not comply with the court’s orders to report to your probation officer.
Attorney Brian M. Fishman of the Fishman Firm, LLC has many years of experience handling probation of violation hearings and will be able to help you get back on track if you have been charged with a violation. With a qualified Philadelphia probation violation attorney by your side, you will be able to protect your rights as well as continue to take care of your obligations to your family and the courts.
The Fishman Firm, LLC, is a criminal law firm located in Philadelphia, PA. Attorney Brian M. Fishman is a criminal defense attorney who concentrates his practice on defending the rights of those accused of criminal offenses. He has successfully defended clients in a wide range of criminal cases, and will aggressively defend your rights in court and in negotiations outside the courtroom. If you have been charged with any criminal offense in Philadelphia, Montgomery, Delaware, Bucks or Chester county, contact Brian M. Fishman at his Philadelphia office now to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer.