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A Criminal Defense Law Firm

Probation and Parole Revocation

A probated sentence is a sentence of confinement served outside of jail provided that all conditions of release are met. For example, a criminal defendant may be sentenced to a ten year sentence all of which is to be served on probation. There are many conditions of probation that a judge can impose on an individual under sentence. Typical conditions of probation include not violating any laws, avoiding alcohol and drugs, avoiding persons of a harmful character, reporting to the probation supervisor as directed, work at a suitable employment, and do not move outside the jurisdiction of the Court. In addition to these general conditions, other special conditions of probation may have to be followed depending on the particular case. These can include attending risk reductions or DUI school, attending a defensive driving school, or being evaluated for drugs and/or alcohol. If a probation officer or supervisor has reason to believe that a probationer has violated probation by failing to abide by all or some of the conditions, then the probation officer or supervisor will usually issue an arrest warrant and schedule the case for a probation revocation hearing.  When a violation occurs, some or all of the sentence may be revoked, and the probationer then must serve that portion of the sentence in jail. Probation revocation is an area where an attorney can make a huge impact because there are many technical and factual defenses to revocation.

Parole is the discretionary decision of the State Board of Pardons and Paroles to release a certain offender from confinement after he has served an appropriate portion of a prison sentence. Parole allows an offender to serve a portion of the term of imprisonment under supervision, in the community, rather than in prison. Persons on parole remain under state supervision and control according to conditions which, if violated, allow for re-imprisonment.

Probation is an act of the court, not of the State Board of Pardons and Paroles. Probation instead of imprisonment may be ordered by a court for all or part of a person’s sentence. Probation is not parole. Parole may be granted only by the Parole Board after a person has served part of his sentence in prison. Parole is community supervision by the State Board of Pardons and Paroles. Probation is community supervision by the Department of Corrections.

As a rule of thumb, most non-violent, non-burglary parole-eligible inmates become eligible for parole consideration after serving one-third of their prison sentence.  Click on this link to view “The Grid.” which is a Parole Decision Guideline Grid published by the Department of Pardons and Paroles.  It gives specific terms of incarceration that must be served for each offense depending on the severity of the crime and the offender’s risk to re-offend.