Understanding probation violations in Pennsylvania

Avoiding any amount of time in jail or prison is typically a person’s top priority when facing criminal charges, which is why probation can be a valuable component of a sentence.

However, if you receive probation in place of jail time, there will be several rules with which you must comply in order to complete the terms of your probation. If you violate these terms, you face harsh consequences.

Common requirements of probation

Probation allows you to do things like earn money at a job, spend time with friends and family, and stay in your own home. However, while you are on probation, the courts can order that you comply with several rules, including:

  • Staying away from specific people and places
  • Refraining from committing any crimes
  • Submitting to regular or random drug and alcohol tests
  • Remaining within state limits
  • Paying fines
  • Attending all court hearings
  • Reporting to a probation officer

If you follow these rules, you can successfully complete your probation. However, any violation or suspected violation can lead to serious consequences.

I violated probation: Now what?

While on probation, you should make every effort to comply with the court’s requirements. If you fail to do so, you can face penalties ranging from a warning to more severe actions, including:

  • Reinstatement of the original sentence, including jail or prison time
  • Additional criminal charges
  • Extension of probation
  • Fines
  • Revoked probation

However, people slip up and make mistakes. And in some cases, allegations of a probation violation are untrue. Because of this, parties will attend a probation violation hearing, which gives them the opportunity to defend themselves against accusations.

Probation is not nearly as restrictive as incarceration. However, there are still several rules and restrictions with which a person must comply. If you are worried about compliance or potential violations, understand that you have the right to speak with an attorney and defend yourself.