Adult Probation - General

Find the answers to commonly asked questions regarding probation and parole here.

Someone on probation usually has not served any time in jail on that sentence. A person on parole has served a portion of that sentence in jail. Usually there are no differences in the standard conditions of supervision governing probation or parole. The biggest difference occurs if the defendant violates his/her conditions. If you are on probation, your original sentence may be revoked and a new sentence imposed. If you are on parole you may have to return to prison to continue serving your original sentence.

Defendants under active supervision may not have any weapons, including but not limited to, rifles, shotguns, or handguns on their person, in their residence, or in their vehicle. Additionally, if someone is convicted of a crime that could have carried a maximum penalty of more than two years, or involved a firearm or explosive, they are prohibited from owning or possessing any firearm(s) under the provisions of the Federal Gun Control Act Of 1968 and 1986.

Someone under active supervision may only leave Pennsylvania for less than 12 hours unless they receive a temporary travel permit issued by their probation officer. Offenders should request a travel permit well in advance of their anticipated departure date. Defendants who travel outside of Pennsylvania without a valid travel permit may be subject to arrest by any state they travel to.

Generally speaking, a sentence in which the defendant receives a term of imprisonment of two years or more will be under the jurisdiction of the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole.

Yes. Probation/parole officers obtain their authority from PA Act 277, August 6, 1963 and amended by PA Act 1992-117, December 4, 1992, which states that probation/parole officers shall have the power of peace officers in the performance of their duties and shall have police powers and authority throughout the Commonwealth to arrest with or without warrant any person on probation, intermediate punishment or parole for any violation of probation, intermediate punishment or parole.

The Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program is a pre-trial alternative for certain first time offenders facing disposition on a non-violent offense. The District Attorney's Office established the eligibility criteria and must approve the offender's application. The Adult Probation and Parole Department supervises those placed into the Program. Successful participants can earn a dismissal of the charges and are eligible for an expungement. Read more...

Once your ARD case has been closed out successfully, the probation department will mail a dismissal petition and a letter with instructions to you. They will be sent to the address we have on record for you. You must sign the dismissal petition in front of a notary, have the petition notarized, and return the signed and notarized petition to your probation officer. Your probation officer will sign the dismissal petition. It will then be submitted to the judge to sign. Two copies of the completed petition are made. A copy will be sent to you, and a copy will be kept in our office. The original is sent to the Clerk of Courts. Your internal record in our office will be expunged. A completed dismissal order is sent to the magisterial district judge and the arresting police department then forwarded to the Pennsylvania State Police for expungement from the central repository. This is a lengthy process that can take up to six months to complete.