Violations of Parole and Probation in Pennsylvania: “Gagnon II” Hearings and Sanctions

Mr. Nikolaus Alexander Baikow's Parole and Probation Legal Blogs

Licensed for 4 years

Attorney in Allentown, PA

If an individual on supervision in Pennsylvania commits a new criminal offense, or violates a condition of supervision, that person is subject to further potential penalties.  "Supervision" in this context refers to those on probation or parole.  One possibility is the imposition of a detainer to hold the person in prison until the underlying violation is resolved.

For this reason, it is vitally important for a parolee or probationer to understand what he or she is up against.  The violation of probation or parole will be resolved during what is known as a "Gagnon II" hearing.  The term Gagnon dates back to United States Supreme Court decision, Gagnon v. Scarpelli, establishing the due process rights of probationers and parolees.

A Gagnon II hearing is subject to different rules of evidence and procedure than a criminal trial.  Parolees and probationers are accorded less due process rights than an offender non on supervision.  But there are still safeguards for the probationer or parolee.

There is a major difference between the sanctions that can be imposed on a parolee versus a probationer.  During a probation violation hearing, the sentencing judge can impose another period of probation or impose a sentence of imprisonment upon the violator.  This is different than a parole violation scenario, where the judge cannot change the terms of the underlying sentence, but can order an offender to serve the balance of the original sentence.  

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