Probation and parole are two different privileges which allow offenders to avoid prison or jail time while serving their sentence. Violating any terms of probation or parole is very serious and could lead to additional punishments.
Probation enables you to stay out of jail and serve a period of supervision with restrictions. Parole is granted after the offender has served a portion of their prison sentence. Whether you are indicted or convicted of a disorderly persons offense will have an impact on your sentencing.
When you are placed on probation or obtain parole, conditions apply to keep you out of jail or prison. Not committing more crimes is the biggest condition. Others include:
- Regular contact with the officer assigned to your case.
- Paying fines.
- Drug and alcohol testing.
- Obtaining and maintaining employment.
- Community service.
If you violate any conditions of your probation or parole, you could wind up in jail or prison. A hearing would be held first. However, you could stay in jail until your hearing occurs and possibly go to prison afterward.
Severity of Violations
Violating the terms of a probation or parole release is a very serious matter. It greatly jeopardizes your ability to stay out of prison or jail.
A parolee already was convicted of a crime. A judge would have relatively little power to stop an offender from returning to prison to serve out the full sentence. A probation violation is only slightly less serious and could put you in prison for many years. There is no jury trial. The prior conviction still carries a stiff penalty.
A judge has more leeway to modify the terms of a probation violation. Violating the probation often results in the offender going to prison for a potentially long time.
What Should I Do if I am Accused?
Whether accused of a probation or a parole violation, it is very important to have a strong defense. Having an experienced lawyer who knows the ins and outs of criminal law is critical in this case.
You do not have as many rights in a probation violation hearing as you do defending yourself against the original criminal charges. You have no right to a trial by jury. Essentially, it usually comes down to your word against the probation officer’s. You do have the right to legal counsel, and you should take advantage of this.
Also, you do not have the right to a trial by jury during a parole revocation proceeding. However, you do have the right to have legal counsel and cross-examine witnesses, you can testify, and present evidence on your behalf as well.
In either case, you should have a lawyer on your side if you are accused of violating the terms of your probation or parole.
South Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyers at Agre & St. John Can Help You With Your Probation or Parole Violation Case
If you have been accused of a probation or parole violation, our experienced South Jersey criminal defense lawyers at Agre & St. John can help. You can contact us online or call us at 856-428-7797 to schedule an initial consultation. Located in Haddonfield, New Jersey, we represent clients throughout South Jersey, including Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, and Salem County.