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New Charges While on Parole

Parole Law Blog by The Law Office of Greg Tsioros

New Charges While on Parole

Most parolees want to do everything possible to stay out of prison. However, for some of them, old habits are hard to break. They then find themselves having their paroles revoked and being sent back to behind bars.

As a parolee yourself, you may have every intention of abiding by the law and not facing having to go back to prison. If you are charged with a new offense while out on parole, you need to understand the upcoming legal process and know how to advocate for yourself during it.

Conditions of Parole

When you are released on parole, you are expected to abide by a variety of rules if you want to avoid going back to prison. Some of these rules include:

  • Finding and keeping gainful employment
  • Avoiding drug and alcohol use
  • Not having or using firearms or weapons
  • Starting or keeping on an educational track, such as getting a GED
  • Submitting to warrantless searches
  • Meeting regularly with your parole officer
  • Submitting to random drug and alcohol tests

You also must avoid committing any new crimes if you want to remain out of prison. If you are arrested on new charges, even a misdemeanor, as a parolee, you likely will have your bail revoked and be sent back to prison to find out your fate. 

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Understanding Blue Warrants

A blue warrant is the term that is used for a parole revocation warrant. Your parole officer typically recommends that a blue warrant be issued for you if he or she suspects that you violated terms of your parole or have committed and been charged with a new crime.

A blue warrant is often executed without you getting any prior notice about it. Once your parole officer recommends that a blue warrant be issued for you, you will be arrested in short order and taken back into custody to await your hearing.

Under certain circumstances, however, the parole division can issue a summons that lets you remain free even while your parole revocation is being decided. The circumstances for a summons are relatively concise and narrow. As a parolee, you have the right to retain and consult with counsel to find out if a summons might be merited or if it is something that your lawyer can realistically pursue on your behalf.

Regardless, your blue warrant puts into play a legal process that ultimately will decide if you go back to prison or can retain your paroled status. If one is issued for you, you must be charged with a new crime or with a charge with violating one or more terms of your parole.

Once you are in custody, you can expect the parole division to contact you wherever you are being held. The person who contacts you on behalf of the parole division may try to get you to waive your right to a hearing.

If you waive your right to a hearing, you should be aware that you effectively admit that you committed the new crime for which you have been charged or violated some term of your parole. You will not get the chance to defend yourself or tell your side of the story. With that, some parole defense attorneys recommend that clients do not waive their rights to a parole hearing.

Before you make a decision about whether or not to waive that right, you have the right to speak to a criminal defense attorney. You can then get all of the facts needed to decide if you want to waive this right or if you want to attempt to defend yourself in a parole revocation hearing.

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Parole Revocation Entitlements 

Even after you have been arrested and detained on a blue warrant, you have certain legal rights to which you are entitled. Your foremost right involves being fully informed of what your new charge is or what term of your parole that you stand accused of violating. This explanation must be provided to you in writing. 

Further, you are entitled to receive full disclosure of the evidence that is being used against you. You can determine if there is a valid case to have your parole revoked or if the evidence is weak or incorrect.

Other entitlements that you have after being arrested on a blue warrant include:

  • The opportunity to be heard and have your own witnesses and documented evidence in your favor
  • Confront and cross examine witnesses
  • Have a neutral and detached body hear evidence for and against you
  • Get a written statement about the evidence that fact finders gathered to have your blue warrant issued

An experienced criminal defense attorney can make sure that these entitlements are made available to you and that your rights are fully protected during the parole revocation process.

After your first hearing to hear evidence against you and learn why your parole has been revoked, you can typically expect to remain in custody until your final hearing. The final hearing determines if there is enough to legally revoke parole and put you back in prison or allow you to serve out the rest of your sentence in the community. The parole division can also decide if the testimonies and evidence against you are fraudulent.

The entire hearing process must happen promptly after the blue warrant is issued for you. You cannot legally wait behind bars for weeks or months on end before you are granted your first hearing. When you retain an experienced parole revocation defense lawyer, you can make sure that the process is carried out in a timely manner and that all of the rights that you are entitled to as a parolee are made fully available to you during it.

Having your parole revoked is the last thing that you may want to happen when you are out from behind bars. Even if you are arrested on a blue warrant for a parole violation or new charge, however, you have entitlements that let you defend yourself during the upcoming legal process. You may avoid having your parole revoked and going back to prison by retaining an experienced parole revocation defense lawyer like Greg Tsioros to represent you during the hearings.

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