What Happens if a Person Violates Parole?
A prisoner released on parole must comply with certain conditions geared toward his or her complete rehabilitation. This includes regular meetings with a parole officer, refraining from interacting with criminals and gangs, maintaining steady employment, abiding by travel restrictions and curfews and other similar conditions. A violation of parole conditions can result in the parolee being returned to prison to serve at least some of the remaining balance of the original sentence.
However, before parolees can be returned to prison, he or she must receive official notice of the alleged violation and must be granted a hearing to determine if there is probable cause that a parole violation occurred. There will also be an additional hearing in front of the parole board, at which the parolee can present a defense.
This is a different process than a trial. The standard of proof is not “beyond reasonable doubt” that a parole violation occurred, but rather that the parolee more likely than not committed the offense.
If you are accused of a parole violation, you have due process rights for your parole hearings. These include the following:
- Written notice of any claimed violation(s)
- Disclosure from the parole board of any evidence that exists against you
- An opportunity to call witnesses and present evidence in your defense in person
- An opportunity to confront or cross-examine witnesses at your hearing, unless there is good cause not to allow such confrontation
- A written statement from the parole board noting the reasons for revoking your parole if it chooses to do so and the specific evidence it relied upon to make that decision
It is important to arm yourself with knowledge about your rights when facing a parole violation hearing. For the legal guidance you need, meet with skilled Reading criminal defense lawyer David R. Eshelman.