How long will he be in there?

Q: My son’s father was on state parole and to follow extremely strict rules. On Monday, his PO called him saying, I need you to meet me at your dad’s house with my supervisor at 930 tomorrow. So, he goes, and is sent back to jail. I tried calling the prison and the PO, nobody will give me any info besides that he violated parole. Won’t say how he violated and there is a detainer. So how do I find out what he did, how long will he be there. He hasn’t even been to that jail for a week, so will it take time to see a judge. (Pittsburgh, PA)

A: Obviously the probation officer feels he has done something to violate his parole. It could be a technical violation such as a hot urine or failure to report to his PO. I could be a new arrest. It is a shame they won’t tell you. Call the probation office tomorrow.

Will I get jail time for first-time probation violation?

Q: I was in subway with friend and they got into a fight. I was pulled in middle of situation but, didn’t have anything to do with me. We both were arrested. Now I go to court. I didn’t start anything just defended myself. (Castle Shannon, PA)

A: You need to inform your probation officer. Normally, he or she will wait until the preliminary hearing and see if your case is held for court or not, before he or she will file for a violation. Your goal is to get your case dismissed or at the most pleaded down to a summary conviction at the preliminary hearing. If it is dismissed, you may not face a probation violation. If you end up pleading to, or being found guilty of, a summary Disorderly Conduct, the PO may or may not file for a violation given that a summary conviction on probation is considered a technical violation of probation. I would get a lawyer for the preliminary hearing. A lot of times, victims in these situations do not show for court.