There are certain scenarios in which judges or other members of the criminal justice system will agree that someone who is technically guilty of a criminal offense does not need to go into or remain in state custody.
In cases where someone pleads guilty or gets convicted of an offense and they seem remorseful or do not appear to pose a threat to the public, a judge may hand down a sentence of probation instead of incarceration. When someone has already served part of their sentence but has displayed good behavior while in state custody, they may become eligible for parole as well.
What does parole involve?
Both probation and parole allow someone reentry into the community with the understanding that they will abide by specific limitations. Randomized drug testing, meeting with a state officer whenever they request, maintaining employment and having a place to live are typically all requirements established when someone secures parole or probation.
It is common for the state to also limit who someone interacts with, especially those associated with criminal activity. It is quite easy for individuals to make mistakes that end up violating the terms of their parole or probation. What will happen to you if you end up accused of a parole violation?
You will likely end up in state custody
If the state official overseeing parole or probation believes that a violation has occurred, they will typically submit documentation to the courts. The courts, in turn, can issue a warrant. An individual may end up back in state custody, even after serving out the totality of their original sentence. Or they may be incarcerated for the first time. A judge could also extend the parole or probation period or impose additional requirements. A large fine is also possible.
Sometimes, state officials make mistakes and wrongfully believe that a probation or parole violation has occurred when someone had been attempting in earnest good faith to fulfill all of the requirements imposed as part of their supervised release. Those defendants may be in a position to defend themselves against the allegations of a violation that could deprive them of their freedom.
Such defenses will typically require the support of a criminal defense attorney, as the burden of proof is lower in such cases than in a standard criminal trial. Learning about the possible penalties of a parole violation can inspire you to fight back in the event of an alleged violation so that you can hopefully maintain your freedom.