What is Parole Revocation?
- June 23, 2021
- Parole, Parole Violation & Revocation Defense
- The Law Office of Greg Tsioros
- Comments Off on What is Parole Revocation?
When you have been granted parole, you want to make the most of this opportunity to remain free and get back into normal society. You may even think that you cannot be sent back to prison again to finish out your sentence. However, parole revocation can happen if you violate the terms of your parole in Texas.
Avoid going back to prison by understanding how parole revocation works and why you can benefit from retaining an experienced attorney to represent you.
What is Parole?
Parole is the early release of a prisoner from prison. The released person is called a parolee, and they are granted parole to rejoin society after serving out a portion of their original sentence.
Each state has its own parole board that decides if or when a prisoner can be released and allowed to reenter society. This board weighs a number of factors and hears from members of the public before making its decision.
Some boards deny prisoners parole until they have served out the majority of their sentences. However, some state boards may grant parole to people who have served out the minimum requirement for their crimes and are deemed safe to be released back into the public. Parole boards are not allowed to grant parole to prisoners whose original sentences do not allow for it.
Some states use parole as a way to relieve prison overcrowding. Others use it as an incentive for prisoners to reform their behaviors and avoid committing crimes again. Many states no longer view imprisonment as the sole means of rehabilitating prisoners and convincing them to become responsible members of society.
What are the Conditions for Parole?
Prisoners who are granted parole are typically expected to abide by stringent criteria in order to stay out of prison. These criteria ensure that parolees still make restitution to society and avoid putting the public at risk of being victimized. They also are designed to minimize the temptation that parolees might face to re-offend and be sent back to jail.
Some of the most common conditions that parole boards implement for parolees include:
- Meeting regularly with a parole officer
- Avoiding committing any crimes
- Avoiding the company of known criminals and gangs
- Restricting travel out of the area where paroled
- Getting regular and consistent mental health treatment
- Maintaining meaningful employment
- Getting permission from the parole board to leave the state or country
- Submitting to electronic home confinement or monitoring
- Agreeing to warrantless searches and drug testing
These terms are typically non-negotiable and standard for every parolee who wants to be let out of prison and allowed to go back to regular society. They also are meant to make transitioning back into the public easier and give parolees an incentive to learn how to live in and engage with society in a meaningful and non-criminal way.
What is Parole Revocation?
Parole revocation means that your parole has been revoked and you must go back to prison. In Texas, your parole can be revoked if you are accused or found guilty of committing any offense that violates its terms. Your parole officer is typically the person who recommends parole revocation and your return to prison.
The parole revocation process is different, however, from the legal process involved with sending you to jail originally. In fact, your parole officer or anyone else who accuses you of violating your parole terms does not have to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Even more, you can have your parole revoked even if you have been found innocent of the violation of which you were accused.
Still, you are entitled to a legal process that allows for your participation and defense. While you may not automatically be appointed a lawyer to defend you, you have the right to retain a parole revocation lawyer to advise and represent you in the ensuing legal process.
What Happens During the Parole Revocation Process?
When your parole has been revoked, you must be provided of its reasoning in writing. In fact, your parole officer or parole board must provide you with this written notice promptly. It is illegal for you to be arrested and sent back to prison without being informed of what you did or of what you have been accused.
Further, your parole officer must request that the court issue what is called a blue warrant for your arrest. Once this warrant is issued, you can expect to be arrested and taken back to jail or prison. You may also be given a limited window of opportunity to turn yourself in voluntarily before you are arrested.
Once you are back in prison or jail, you must be granted a hearing in short order. The board must give a full accounting of its reasoning for why your parole was revoked. Your parole officer, the hearing officer and your legal counsel, if you have one on retainer, will also be present in this hearing.
After this initial hearing to find out why your parole has been revoked, you can expect a second, and possibly a third, hearing to be scheduled. These next hearings allow you to hear evidence against you and also let you question witnesses who testify for or against you. You can also present evidence in your favor to show that you did not violate the terms of your parole and thus should be allowed to be released from prison.
Your defense attorney can argue for you before the hearing officer and convince him or her to allow you to continue your parole. Your lawyer will know what evidence to present and at what point during the hearings to use facts of the case to your advantage.
After the hearings are finished, the hearing officer will render a decision about whether or not you should go back to prison. You can find out relatively quickly after your revocation if you will be allowed to back to your normal life or if you must serve out the remainder of your original sentence.
Parole revocation cuts short the time that you can live normally again in society. However, you have rights as a defendant in the ensuing legal process that determines if you go back to jail. You can protect your best interests by hiring a defense attorney who has experience representing clients in parole revocation hearings.