Being stuck behind bars is horrible. All you want to do is get out, go home, see your loved ones again and try to rebuild your life. That’s why the parole process exists, it is a way to help introduce offenders back into society as early as possible so that they might reclaim their lives and put their criminal behaviors in the past.

But getting paroled is not the same as being let out of prison to do as you want. There are rules and conditions attached to every parole that are designed to help ensure that the individual does not commit further crimes and only does damage to the community with their freedom. It is important that if you want to keep your parole and move on with your life that you follow the conditions of the parole and not commit any acts that would violate it.

What are Conditions of a Parole?

One individual’s parole will not be the same as another individual’s parole, though there will be similarities between them all. The reason for this fluctuation is due to the fact that an individual’s parole conditions are determined by the specifics of their crime. For example, a hacker might be conditioned against using certain forms of technology but this makes little sense as a condition for somebody who was convicted of automotive theft.

A parolee will be assigned a parole officer and it will be their responsibility to meet with their parole officer on a set schedule. However, these meetings are just one of the ways that a parole officer will judge whether or not the parolee is following the conditions of the parole. Parole officers are also empowered to visit the parolee at their place of residence or employment without warning to ensure that they are following the conditions. It is in check-ups like these that many people are discovered to have violated their parole.

How is Parole Violated?

To violate parole is to act in a way that fails to follow one of the conditions that have been set out. It is impossible to list all the ways that parole is violated, since one person can have conditions that another person doesn’t.

But in general, the most common ways of violating parole are:

  • Failing to Show to a Scheduled Appointment: It is extremely important that you report to any and all appointments you have with your parole officer. It can be possible to have appointments moved in some cases but you should always call and speak with the officer first. It is never a good idea to miss an appointment without warning, even when the circumstances are understandable.
  • Failing to Show Up to Court: Like with appointments with your parole officer, you must always make sure to show up for any court appearances you are scheduled for. It never looks good to fail to show up to court, it is a violation of your parole and it can be harmful for your next court appearance.
  • Failure to Pay Fines: A failure to pay fines might not seem like such a big deal but when you are on parole it certainly is. Failing to pay your fines by the scheduled date cis a violation of your parole that could result with you heading back behind bars.
  • Traveling Out of State: Most parole set a condition of not traveling out of state. This is one of the conditions which can be granted an exception in certain circumstances. For example, you can get permission to travel out of state to see a dying loved one in some cases. But it is unlikely that you could get permission simply to go on vacation. In general, if you are on parole then you should expect to stay in the same geographic area.
  • Possessing or Selling Drugs: It should come as no surprise that possessing or selling drugs is a violation of your parole. After all, it is a crime in-and-of-itself.
  • Committing Other Crimes: Committing any crime when you are on parole is a terrible idea. Crimes are punishable on their own but when combined with parole it shows the judge that you are not able to (or worse, have no desire to) integrate back into society.
  • Meeting with Known Criminals: Meeting with known criminals is a way to violate your parole because it suggests that you are choosing not to leave your criminal ways behind now that you are allowed back out in the world again.

What Happens When Parole is Violated?

There are a few ways that violating your parole could go but the most usual chain of events is:

  • You Get a Warning: Small violations could result in just a simple warning. This is especially typical in cases where it is a first-time violation as well as a smaller offense. However, larger offenses are not taken lightly even when there is no previous record of violations.
  • A Court Appearance is Set: If your violation is severe enough then a court date will be set in order to see how to proceed.
  • A Judge Hears Your Case: During your court case a judge will listen to the circumstances of your case and your defense.
  • A Judge Gives a Sentence: The judge will then determine what will happen from the parole violation. This could range from having more conditions applied, having the parole extended or even having the parole revoked.

What Should I Do if I Violate My Parole?

If you have violated your parole then it is important that you immediately ensure you follow the conditions of the parole while waiting for your court date. This ensures that you don’t make the situation any worse than it already is.

The next step is to get an experienced attorney that can help show the judge how you learned from the violation or how it was accidental, such as meeting with an individual the court knows as a criminal but that you did not. Call Mirsky Law Firm at (516) 299-6187 to learn how we can help you today.