If you’re convicted of a crime in Pennsylvania, one of the most common sentences imposed is a term of probation. But if you violate probation, you could end up in jail once again. So, it’s important to understand the process that happens after an alleged probation violation.

If you end up in jail as a result of an alleged probation violation, you’ll remain there until a judge can hold a hearing to determine if there is probable cause to believe you violated probation. This hearing, known as a Gagnon hearing, gets its name from Gagnon v. Scarpelli, a 1971 Supreme Court case. The case set the standard for a defendant’s due process rights concerning probation violations. There are two types of Gagnon hearings.

Gagnon I Hearing

The Gagnon I hearing happens first after you’re first incarcerated for a probation violation. At the hearing, the prosecutor must make a prima facie case that you violated probation, meaning there is probable cause to believe that you violated your probation. If the prosecution makes this prima facie case, you will remain in jail until the court can hold a more extensive hearing – the Gagnon II hearing. If the prosecution fails to make this prima facie case, the court will release you.

Gagnon II Hearing

The Gagnon II hearing is a more formal hearing the court will schedule after the Gagnon I hearing. In this hearing, the prosecutor must show that you violated probation by clear and convincing evidence. In other words, the Gagnon I hearing is to determine whether the court can hold you for a more extensive hearing. At the Gagnon II hearing, the judge will determine whether you violated probation. If the prosecution can’t make its case at either hearing, the court will release you.

Hire an Experienced Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you’re facing a possible probation violation in Pennsylvania, you shouldn’t try to figure this out alone. You need a skilled criminal defense attorney right away. Attorney John D’Intino, Jr. works hard to defend the rights of Pennsylvanians. He works hard for his clients, and he can help you too. Contact the D’Intino Law Firm in Pennsylvania today at 267-491-9111.