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Frequently Asked Questions
Adult Probation & Parole Department

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What is the difference between probation and parole?

Probation is a sentence where an offender remains in the community under supervision. Parole is a conditional release from incarceration under conditions similar to probation.

What is the difference between a county and a state sentence?

Generally a sentence of confinement requires a minimum and a maximum time. In PA, a state sentence is one with a maximum of 2 years or more. The PA Board of Probation and Parole is the paroling and supervising authority in state sentences. A county sentence is one in which the maximum sentence is 2 years minus 1 day or less. The sentencing judge grants parole in a county sentence and the county parole office supervises these offenders.

How often is an offender seen while on probation/parole?

This depends upon several factors such as, but not limited to the individual, their background, previous and current behavior. The assigned probation/parole officer will discuss this with the offender and will meet with the offender as often as necessary to ensure compliance with the orders of the court.

What agencies conduct drug/alcohol/mental health evaluations?

A list can be obtained in the probation office. For the most current listing of licensed drug/alcohol providers in PA, visit: and select "Locate a Drug and Alcohol Treatment Provider" on the homepage.

Why is necessary to submit urine samples for drug/alcohol testing?

During supervision, an offender may be asked to submit urine samples to verify compliance with the conditions of supervision.

Why can't an offender leave PA without permission?

Travel outside of PA, including Canada, is not a right when an individual is under supervision. If an offender gives the PO reasonable notice, he/she may grant permission to travel.

Why is an offender charged a supervision fee?

Act 1991-35 indicates that a supervision fee be imposed in ARD/probation and/or parole sentences when an offender is under supervision of the county probation department.

How can I find out who someone's probation officer is?

Telephone the Lehigh County Adult Probation office at (610) 782-3933 and ask to speak to the supervising PO. The receptionist will be able to tell you who the supervising PO is and how long the offender is on supervision for.

How can an ARD case be expunged?

Several documents must be presented to the court. For specific instructions see the section on this website or pick up the instructions at the Lehigh County Courthouse in the Clerk of Judicial Records Office or the Court Administrator's Office.

More information is available at the Self-Help section of our website.

Where can I obtain information about a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charge?

Telephone the Lehigh County District Attorney's Office at (610) 782-3100, during regular business hours and ask to be connected to the DUI hotline. If you are arrested for DUI, you will receive an appointment letter for a Court Reporting Network (CRN) evaluation approximately 60-90 days after your preliminary hearing which is held at the Magisterial District Judge's office. The CRN appointment is held at the Lehigh County Courthouse in the Adult Probation Office. Your appointment letter will also contain important information concerning requirements to be completed prior to your Common Pleas court date.

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Lehigh County Court of Common Pleas, 455 West Hamilton Street, Allentown, PA 18101-1614 • (610) 782-3000