Parole is a permanent or temporary release of a prisoner before they complete their sentence and promise to abide by set terms and conditions. Parole applies to those serving a felony penalty in California state prison. Before the release, the prisoner will have to promise to follow the rules.
If you are serving a sentence that has a specified amount of time, the court will grant you parole after you complete your sentence. If you are serving a life sentence, you will be eligible for parole after serving a determinate part of your sentence. A hearing is done to determine whether it will be safe if you get back to society or not. If the court grants parole, you will be given an agent to monitor you and ensure that you comply with the terms and conditions set for you. If you are serving a penalty of "life without a possibility of parole," then you are not eligible for parole in Orange County.
Violation of parole is a severe crime in California. If you violate the parole regulations, you could have your parole revoked, meaning incarceration is possible. There are different ways in which the court can charge you with violating your parole:
- If you violate parole and you do not break any other law. You will have a hearing before the deputy commissioner for the Board. You can have your parole revoked and go back to prison for a maximum of one year.
- If you violate the rules set for your parole and in addition to that, you break another law. In that case, you will have your parole revoked, and you will face additional penalties for committing a crime while on parole.
When accused of violating your parole in Orange County, you should not handle the case personally due to the complicated nature of the hearing process. You will have a high chance of you going back to prison if you fight the charges legally. Orange County Criminal Defense Law Firm has attorneys who can handle your criminal charges by presenting legal defenses that will prevent the Board from having your parole revoked.
Types of Parole Violation in Orange County
There are specific activities that you can engage in and find yourself having your parole revoked. They are:
- Failure to report to your agent or the parole officer
- Owning or possessing illegal weapons
- Involving yourself in domestic violence
- Failing to undergo a drug test
- Possession of drugs
- Associating yourself with people with criminal history and
- Violating other conditions set in your parole
Overview of Parole in California
California law grants parole to prisoners who have completed their sentences and those who have served a determinate part of their sentence. That will not be the case if there is a safety concern that arises if you are granted parole. For the court to determine whether you are eligible for parole, there are elements that the prosecutor will look into; whether you earned any good credit and the type of punishment you are serving during your sentence.
Determinate Versus Indeterminate Sentence
A determinate sentence is one that has a specified number of years while an indeterminate does not. If serving an indeterminate sentence, you are eligible for parole after you have completed a determinate part of your sentence or after you have served your sentence for at least seven years.
Credit Earned During the Sentence
As a prisoner, you can have your overall sentence portion reduced. You can do so by earning credit by behaving well during your sentence. If you earn yourself credit for good behavior, you can have your sentence reduced up to half. If you are a prisoner serving a sentence for a violent felony offense, you are also eligible for reducing your sentence up to 85%. You will achieve that by earning yourself credit for good behavior.
Some crimes that do will hinder you from reducing your sentence even if you earn yourself a credit. They include murder charges, or you have been charged as a felony convict two or more times. You will not be eligible for parole. Risk and safety assessment will also determine whether you can uphold society's right behavior.
Parole Terms and Conditions
To receive parole, you must agree to comply with specific rules, or you will risk parole violation. Failure to abide by the rules will result in revoking a parole officer and additional prison time. The conditions of parole in California are restrictive because the state has strong control over you. Your legal rights are also diminished as a parolee. Some of the terms and condition that you will have to follow during your parole are:
- Consent to reside within a specified limit in the county
- You should notify your parole officer where you live and work
- You should consent to a search by police or any law enforcement officer without a search warrant and a probable cause and at any time.
- It would be good if you promised not to violate any parole terms and conditions.
- Avoid possessing or being in the presence of deadly weapons.
- Avoid using the internet.
- Avoid associating with gang members.
- Agree to register with the local authority if you are a sex offender, charged with arson, and charged with drug crimes.
Suppose you are accused of violating any other law while on parole, a revocation hearing is done where you will be put back to prison. If you are a felony convict of severe crimes like arson, drug crimes, and sex offense, you may have some restrictions imposed on you; you will not be allowed to work in areas near firearms, associating with other gang members, you will be denied access to interment.
Suitability Hearing by the Parole Board
Being eligible for parole doesn't mean that you will be granted parole. You will have to attend a hearing by the California Board of Parole appointed by the Governor of California. If, after the hearing, a decision is made not to grant you parole, you will not be eligible for parole for the next three years from the hearing day. There are times where you may be forced to wait for up to 15 years to have another hearing. Some factors that the Board considers before making a parole decision are:
- The nature of the crimes that you have committed
- Whether you feel remorseful for your actions
- Your previous criminal records
- How you behaved for the time that you have spent in prison
- Whether you took advantage of the educational, social, and counseling programs
- How you plan to get back to society and the opportunity you are expected to get
- Whether there is any opposition from the family members.
The California Board of Parole can also reverse the decision to grant parole. What they need is some form of evidence to reverse its previous decision. Some of the evidence is how you carried yourself while serving a sentence and your mental health status.
When granted parole, you will be subjected to six levels of parole supervision. The levels of supervision can be modified depending on your circumstance and that of the community. The six levels of parole supervision are:
- Intensive re-entry: Its whereby your supervision is heightened once you are released from prison
- Regular re-entry: Upon release, you are eligible to get services such as job employment for a short period.
- Specialized Cases: In case you are considered as a high risk, you can also receive services for a short time in specialized
- Supervision for case Management: If you happen to reintegrate well with society, then the supervision can be reduced
- Electronic supervision: It is a case where you are monitored electronically for 24 hours
- Personal and subsistence care: It is a level of supervision whereby society can support you in accessing different services like transportation, education, and others.
The specific job of a parole officer is to ensure that you follow the term and conditions set. They connect you to different services in the community, such as counseling and medical care. They also assist in deciding whether your parole should be revoked or not. The nature of your crime determines the length of your parole. However, if you were charged with a murder case, you will be on parole forever.
Violation of Parole and Revocation
If you violate your parole term and conditions, you can have it revoked and find yourself back in prison for one year. The district attorney can choose to file new charges against you based on the regulation you have violated. You can, therefore, end up serving an independent sentence if you violate parole terms and conditions. The penalties that you will face if you violate parole terms are severe. It would help if you, therefore, understood what you're a right are during the hearing. Your rights are:
- The right to be issued with written notice of accusations.
- The right to hire a criminal defense attorney
- The right to defend the charges filed against you
- The right to question and confront the witnesses
- The right to review evidence to be used against your violation
- The right to a fair and neutral hearing
- The right to get a written decision that describes the reason for the verdict.
Hearing Process for Parole Revocation
The Board of Parole Hearing governs parole violation hearing, and the presided by the deputy commissioner. As you await the revocation hearing, you are put in the county jail according to the law. The hearing for parole revocation is split into two; preliminary and final hearing. The preliminary hearing is done to determine whether there is probable cause to have your case moved to the final hearing. The preliminary hearing is done ten days after you receive notice for your violation. You are entitled to hire an attorney in both hearings to present the evidence and facts why the court should not revoke your parole. By hiring an attorney, you have a likelihood of having your sentence reduced.
If your parole is revoked, you will be returned to the state prison to serve the revocation sentence for up to one year. The commissioner made the revocation decision because he or she is the one who makes the final decision. In case you commit another crime while serving the parole violation sentence, you will have an additional 12 months in prison.
How to Win a Revocation Hearing
The Board can judge that you are guilty of violating the parole terms and conditions after the arresting police files allegations against you. However, you and your qualified attorney can challenge the evidence brought forward and present one that rules in your favor. Your parole agent can also contribute to having your parole not revoked if they testify your good behavior while you were on parole. Therefore, the agent can recommend that you are given another parole chance and not be put back to the prison.
Penalties for Violating Parole Terms and Conditions
It would be good if you can follow the set rules that you do so. The reason being, if you happen to abide by what you were told, then the probation officer can sign off your parole. You will, therefore, live your everyday life. When you violate the rules, the parole officer reports the same, and a warrant of arrest is issued. During the violation hearing, the judge can make any of the following decision:
- change the terms and conditions of the parole
- Reinstate the terms and conditions or
- Revoke your parole and go back to prison.
Therefore, you will risk going back to prison if the parole officer finds out that you have violated the rules. However, you still have a legal right to hire an experienced criminal attorney to fight the allegations and avoid having your parole revoked. There are penalties that you will have to face if you are found guilty of violating your parole. In addition to violating your parole conditions, the severity will depend on whether you committed any other crime.
If you did not break any other law during the parole, a revocation hearing is done, and you can be incarcerated for up to one year. If you broke a different law while on parole, a revocation hearing is done in addition to the other criminal charge. The deputy commissioner will revoke your parole, and you will be incarcerated. Generally, you will face the following penalties if you violate your parole:
- Your probation period will be increased.
- You will face imprisonment as stated in the original case.
- You will have to enroll in a counseling session or a rehab.
- You will be required to complete particular physical labor and
- You will engage in community service.
Fighting a Revocation or Parole Violation Hearing
The Board discussing your case will review all the evidence presented by the arresting officer, victims, and witnesses. The parole officers will also have an opportunity to speak and give feedback on how you performed during the parole. However, you can have an attorney by your side to present evidence and defenses in your favor. An experienced attorney will present legal defenses to prove that you did not violate parole intentionally and that the parole should not be revoked. The common legal defenses for parole violation are:
After you are granted parole, someone might not like the idea of you being out of prison. Police officers can also dislike the same idea. Some of how false accusation can arise are:
- From a victim who doesn’t like the idea that you are now out of prison
- From a police officer who may have a grudge against you or
- From your “ex” lover who doesn’t want you to be around or out of prison.
They can, therefore, fake charges that you violated the parole terms and conditions so that you can go back to the prison. If our attorney is experienced enough, he or she will prove to the court that it was a plan by the people who did not support your parole since the beginning. If it is proven that that is the case, then the deputy commissioner will be convinced, and your parole will not be revoked.
People may mistake you for committing a particular crime when you are on parole and associate the crime with you just because you were in prison. Your attorney can argue that you were not involved in the criminal act despite being around the scene. Mistaken identity happens if the description of the person who committed the crime fits your description. It can also occur if you had been seen earlier with the people who committed the crime or a jealous and angry victim who wants to cover up for his criminal actions. In that case, you will be the first suspect because you were charged with a crime before.
You Are Innocent
As parole, you may unintentionally violate the law, especially when you spend your time with other people who had previous convictions. That will apply even though you are engaging in any illegal behavior. It is also possible that someone will try to fix you for their illegal acts because you are likely to be suspected first as parole. If your attorney proves that you were indeed innocent, and the judge proves it, you are likely to have the charges against you dropped.
Due Process Rights Violation
You can have the charges against you dropped if it is proven that your due process rights are violated. For example, you have a right to be issued a notice if there are allegations against you or a certain hearing. You are also entitled to have the evidence disclosed to you that rules against your favor. If you are accused of violating parole terms and conditions, the defense against the charge may be complicated, and you will require some help from an attorney who understands the complexity of the case. The attorney will investigate the circumstances and facts surrounding the case and proves that your parole should not be revoked because your due process right was violated.
You should have hope that you can have your parole not revoked even if there is proof that you are guilty of violating the parole's terms and conditions. Your attorney can present the legal defense to justify why you broke the rules of your parole and avoid revocation of your parole. They will do so by convincing the Board that you are ready to change and fit in the community. Instead, you would enroll in a rehabilitation center rather than going back to prison if you are an addict of substance abuse. If it is a violation like driving without a valid license, then your attorney can argue that it was just a minor offense and that the Board should not revoke your parole. In case you are a little, your attorney can say that you do not cause any safety threats to the community and that your parole should not be revoked.
Find a Parole Attorney Near Me
When granted parole in California, it means that you have an opportunity to move out of prison and get back into society, while still under the control of the state. Violation of parole terms and conditions is a serious offense in California if you are found guilty of committing the crime. If found guilty of violating parole, you may serve a separate penalty to the first one depending on the violation's nature. The consequences can also be life-changing, and you should, therefore, not take the actions lightly.
The nature of parole revocation and the hearing process can be complicated. The Board can be easily convinced that you violated parole regulations, and you find yourself back in prison. You should therefore consult a criminal defense attorney who is trustworthy and experienced. Our attorneys from Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney will gather all the necessary information and prepare the evidence that they believe will make the board rule in your favor. Feel free to call us at 714-740-7848 and consult with the attorney on the service you need.