Have You Been Accused of Parole Violations? Talk to an Attorney Who Can Help You
When a person is on parole or probation and is accused of violating the terms of their release, they can face serious consequences. A California judge might sentence you to a year in prison. The good news is that you are not without options: Simmons Wagner, LLP can help you. Just call us at (949) 439-5857 to set up a consultation.
Examples of Parole Violations
You can be charged with parole violations if you violate any of the conditions of your parole, and those conditions will vary from case to case. However, some of the most common violations that occur include:
- Committing a new crime
- Failing to attend mandatory classes (such as Alcoholic Anonymous, anger management, or domestic violence classes)
- Failing or refusing to take a drug test
- Failing to pay necessary fines and/or restitution
- Failing to report to your parole officer
- Failing to appear at a court date
- Refused to allow the police to search your person or property
- Left the area you were required to stay in
- Did not register as a sex offender if required
- Possessed a firearm
- Accessed the internet against the terms of your parole
- Associated with known felons and/or gang members
These are only some of the ways a person might be in violation of their parole. It is important for every person released on parole to know the specific terms of their parole. If you do not understand yours, talk to your attorney or parole officer to clarify.
Two Things Will Be Determined at a Parole Violation Hearing
Your parole violation hearing (also known as a parole revocation hearing) will involve a commissioner or parole board deciding two things:
- Whether or not there is probable cause that you violated the terms of your parole
- Whether it is appropriate to revoke parole
To determine these two things, the commissioner or parole board might hear testimony from:
- The arresting officer
- Your parole agent or parole officer
Your parole violations attorney can also introduce evidence of mitigating circumstances that justified the violation.
You Have Rights at a Parole Violation Hearing
It might feel that you have no rights at this hearing but that is false. You have the right to:
- A parole violations defense attorney
- Written notice of the alleged violation
- Present evidence on your own behalf
- Know about any adverse evidence
- A hearing board that is neutral and unbiased
- Confront and cross-examine witnesses
- A written decision of the outcome
Unfortunately, California parole laws hold that you must be kept in county jail until the revocation hearing. If they determine that your parole should be revoked, then you will be headed back to state prison. If you win your case, then you will stay on parole and finish the term as you had been.
Defense Options at a Parole Violations Hearing
The bad news is that it is harder to win a parole violations hearing than it is to win in a criminal trial because the burden of proof is different. In a criminal court, the prosecution is required to prove you committed the crime in question beyond a reasonable doubt. In a parole violations hearing, they must only prove that there is a preponderance of evidence of your guilt.
This does not mean that the situation is hopeless – it simply means that you must hire the right attorney for the job. There are several ways we can help including:
- Reviewing the prosecution’s evidence
- Searching for evidence to support your defense
- Showing that you have been falsely accused
- Proving that you were the victim of mistaken identity
- Identifying how your rights of due process were violated
If there is no strong defense and we cannot discredit the evidence against you, then we can still fight for you. We will work to convince the judge that they should modify your parole rather than revoke it. This keeps you out of jail, though it might mean more restrictions.
The best way for you to fight this is to work with an attorney. Get a consultation today by calling Simmons Wagner, LLP at (949) 439-5857.