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Standard Special Conditions for Sex Offenders- Probation and Parole May Provide Additional Conditions

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PA Supreme Court weighs in; special conditions for sex offenders may be imposed by probation and parole pursuant to Megan's Law provisions so long as they interpret conditions imposed by the trial court

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By Attorney Elisabeth K.H. Pasqualini, Sex Offender Defense Attorney, Harrisburg, PA

The law used to be that when the judge imposes conditions on a defendant at the time of sentencing, those were the "conditions" of probation and/or parole.  Pursuant to Megan's Law provisions, a parole board or its agents may impose more specific conditons of supervision pertaining to that probation as long as those supervision conditions are "in furtherance of" probation conditions.  For instance, a board may now expound on the no-contact order of a court by prohibiting the sex offender from placing him/herself into a situation where s/he could easily violate the terms of conditons of probation or parole.

On September 7, 2012, in Commowealth v. Elliott, the PA Supreme Court held:

  1. The Board of Probation and Parole had the authority to impose conditions of supervision that were germane to, elaborated on, or interpreted any conditions of probation that were imposed by the trial court, and
  2. The Board had the authority to impose conditions of supervision that were germane to, elaborated on, or interpreted any conditions of probation that were imposed by the trial court.

In so deciding, the Court determined that Section 9798.3 of Megan's Law gives the State Board of Probation and Parole independent authority to impose any condition of supervision it wishes upon a probationer subject to the sex offender provisions merely because of their status as a sex offender.  However, that under the statutory provisions for probation and parole (61 Pa.C.S. §§ 6131(a)(5)(ii) and 6151), the Board and its agents may impose conditions of supervision that are germane to, elaborate on, or interpret any conditions of probation that are imposed by the trial court.

If you are a Megan's Law registrant or Adam Walsh Act/SORNA registrant and have questions regarding your probation/parole provisions or are the subject of a revocation proceeding, you may contact Shaffer & Engle Law Offices, LLC toll free or email us today.

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