View Full Version : Technical Violation - Interstate Compact NJ/PA

11-13-2011, 11:51 AM
Summary for those who don't wish to read the "novel" below:

Fiance is on 4 years county probation in NJ for unlawful theft. Completed a little over 2.5 years so far.
Transferred supervision to PA through interstate compact 2 years ago.
No prior violations. Put into outpatient in NJ for marijuana from the beginning. Completed successfully, never tested dirty again.
Never served time in state or county. No prior convictions beyond the unlawful theft. Has held a job (with promotions) and always stayed in touch with both NJ and PA POs.
New arrest in Philadelphia Oct. 17 for 0.2 grams marijuana. Hit with technical violation (out of district) and new charge - complaint has since been withdrawn by Philly DA (Oct. 31).
Detainer issued by PA, sent to state prison here, probable cause hearing on Oct. 28. Paperwork submitted by PA PO Nov. 1.
PA PO recommends he comes home and gets back to work because he doesn't see him as an "issue" or a habitual violator.
NJ PO only got his case a week before my fiance's arrest and doesn't know him - his previous NJ PO was great with him and wrote excellent letters of recommendation for both his transfer and his job.
Was previously up for early termination pending final payments on restitution (~$500)
How long does NJ have to respond? What does PA do from there? What are the possible outcomes? What is the probable outcome and/or known outcomes for similar cases?

Story for better understanding:

Well, looks like my fiance got into quite a mess this time. I'm getting answers all over the place about what might happen but I figured I'd try here as I'm finding many of the answers quite informative. I understand that every case is different and I shouldn't hold onto one outcome as a set precedent for my fiance's outcome. That being said, I would like to be at least informed on the best and worst case scenarios so I know how to prepare for myself and him.
My fiance was given four years probation in NJ for unlawful theft in the third degree. He had $3,350 in restitution to pay back. Two years ago, we decided that our best bet for success would be to get away from old friends and old habits and start our lives together in PA where we were far enough for friends to want to come stay on our couch but close enough to see our families regularly. We transferred supervision through the interstate compact and everything was going great out here! He started working for a grocery store and found himself being promoted until he was eventually picked for a department manager for his company's new store. I worked my way up into a paralegal (by experience, not certification) position in my law firm.
When we moved, we were quite young (He was 19, I was 20) and didn't really look into the interstate compact as much as we should have (like the fact that he is on State Parole here, but it started as county probation in NJ). I'm not sure now if it would have changed our decision to move to a new state.
Anyway, we only had about $500 left to pay in restitution and both his NJ & PA POs stated that they would recommend early termination once we paid it off (he's a little over 2.5 years on probation so far). Then comes this fateful day last October - a new arrest. He works outside of his district and he has approval to do so but he stopped at a recently fired co-worker's house on the way to work. Said co-worker was under investigation by a narcotics task force and was being watch. As my fiance left, he made it down the street before he was swarmed by police. Pulled him through the window by the throat, threw him in a jeep, and drove off with his car to park it somewhere. They tossed the car and found 0.2 grams of marijuana. They tried to get him to say that he bought it from the co-worker but he hadn't (that small of an amount? Why would you even try to buy that?) and tried to tell them so. They charged with a possession and took him to a holding cell. In Philadelphia, anything under 32 grams(?) is now up for a program called "Small Amount of Marijuana" - summary offense, $200 fine and have to complete a class. Well, Harrisburg issues a detainer based on the new arrest (Oct. 17) and takes him to a state prison here. He had his probable cause hearing on Oct. 28 (of course they found probable cause) and his PA PO said he submitted the paperwork by Nov. 1. The Philadelphia DA then withdrew the criminal complaint for the possession without him even going to court.
Now what remains is the technical violation of being in Philadelphia not at work. Of course the police report shows the arrest and what it was for so there is no denying that it was more than just a simple stop at a co-worker's house. It doesn't look pretty. He has 2.5 years of good behavior - held a job, pays the bills, no prior violations, no missed meetings - he even used to call his NJ PO just to chat (she was always so kind to him - she wrote a great letter of recommendation for his transfer and for his job) and we were careful to inform the PA PO of EVERYTHING and ANYTHING we thought he should know (transfers at work, promotions, wanting to visit family in NJ, etc.) Well in NJ, his case was transferred to a new PO a week before his arrest. This guy doesn't know him at all and he immediately tried to throw "violation could be 3-5 years" at me before he got the paperwork and when I spoke with him in the beginning, I was honest that he had a possible summary offense and a technical violation. He wouldn't believe me that PA would detain him in state prison based on this and there must be something I don't know (contrary to everything PA has told me - they have to detain him on any possible violation). The NJ PO has since warmed up to me and said that when he receives the paperwork, he will turn it around quickly because he understands that I know my fiance will have to face whatever consequences come his way for this but that I don't want to see this all dragged out over "paperwork" between states. In 4 days he will have been in prison for a month now. He has never done time in county or state before and to be honest - I'm terrified for him there. I'm also scared about what I am supposed to do - my job had to lay me off for a month and took me back part time a few weeks ago but it is quite an experience trying to cover the bills with just my income now. I just want to know what we can expect - I've called everyone under the sun from PA PO (who said as far as he's concerned, my fiance is not an "issue" or a habitual violator and he would recommend that he just come home to me and get back to work), the interstate compact office in Harrisburg, his NJ PO, Philly DA, Police - I racked up quite a phone bill. But everyone gives me different answers on exactly how long NJ can take with the paperwork, what PA does once the paperwork is sent back, what they can do with my fiance and what we're looking at. Any attorney I speak with and the PA PO say that they don't believe NJ will try to extradite him but honestly, we've had some pretty bad luck as far as the unlikely happening (Philly spelled his first and last name wrong on the complaint, no one could find him for a while, etc.)
SO, if you have read this far, what are the possibilities here? What have you experienced with similar cases? What are the time restraints on this paperwork issue? I apologize for the length, my fiance pokes fun at me all the time for turning stories into novels which is why I included the summary of facts up top for those who did not want to read all this (thanks to those of you who do, though! :) )
Do not feel the need to tell me he made a mistake and has to suffer the consequences, please. This is already understood and accepted. The system will forever be flawed but it HAS worked for me in the past (my father is rightfully serving life in an NJ state prison for murdering my mother - he has zero remorse and only self-pity. Fortunate that he is there because otherwise we would have probably needed to uproot myself, my sisters and some family members for protection.) We don't want to "beat the system". We just want to prepare for what is ahead of us.

11-14-2011, 11:56 AM
NJ knows he's not going anywhere so they are in no rush. He had weed and was out of district. My best guess is that NJ will want him back and offer him a drug program or time. Hubby had a crumb of weed in pocket in NY, in his own district-was violated and required to do a drug program-never tested positive for any illegal substances, was working etc and while in the program was told he didn't belong, but it was the program or a year in jail. Of course he took the program. I doubt he's seriously just going to walk out and being out of district without permission is jail time-at least three months to a year here. Noone can say what parole will do with certainty, which is why you have called all over the world and not gotten an answer. He's going to some time-whether in a program or jail. How much-I don't know-that may be indicated on his parole papers. PA doesn't really care at this point as once a new offense is committed it is up to NJ to decide.