If you’ve committed a felony, you understand the penalties for the crime can be severe, including jail time. However, for those who are out on parole, this can be a great way to transition back into society. Parole is the conditional release of prisoners, allowing them to return to the outside world before their sentence is over. However, if you commit a parole violation by going against the terms of your release, it can have serious consequences. Keep reading to learn how a Bergen County criminal defense attorney can help you.
What Constitutes a Parole Violation?
It’s important to understand that a parole violation can vary from person to person based on the terms of your conditional release. However, most parolees will follow the same basic rules in order to maintain their status. This includes the following conditions:
- Reporting to your parole officer
- Home visits
- Drug testing
- Living within a predetermined area
- Notifying your parole officer about changes in employment or residence
- Obtaining permission before leaving the state
In other circumstances, depending on the crime a parolee was convicted of, there are often other conditions included in the parole terms. For example, the parolee may not be able to use electronic devices, cannot contact specific individuals, cannot gamble, or must attend counseling.
If you violate any terms of your parole, you are subject to the parole being revoked. This could land you back in prison to finish out the rest of your sentence.
What is the Revocation Process in New Jersey?
Violation of your parole can lead to revocation, which is a serious and extensive process. You will not have the same rights as a person who has not committed a crime, as you are already a convicted criminal of the state.
Unlike other criminal charges, there is no court hearing for parole violations. Instead, you will go before an appointed authority from the State Parole Board Revocation Hearing Unit.
If you are found to have broken the terms of your parole during your preliminary hearing, you will likely move forward to a revocation hearing. This hearing is to determine whether or not the violation is enough to warrant revocation. Unless you have “good cause” to avoid returning to jail, you could return to prison to finish the rest of your sentence behind bars.
Are There Alternative Options Besides Jail Time?
With the help of a competent lawyer, you may be able to avoid jail time if you truly did not know that you were committing a violation. While it’s not a guarantee that you could receive an alternative, it is a possibility. Instead of returning to prison, you could be required to enroll in programs, such as drug rehabilitation or anger management. You could also endure more severe terms and conditions of your parole.
Whether you are guilty of violating your parole or not, ensuring you have competent legal counsel on your side is essential. Contact the Law Office of Attorney Conway today, as we can help you try to secure the best possible outcome for your circumstances.