Parole is a period that follows prison time. Parole is meant to re-integrate prisoners into society gradually, and allow prisoners to complete part of their sentence in the community. During parole, you're expected to follow a strict set of rules in order to remain out of prison and on parole. A parole violation is an unpermitted deviation from these rules.
What happens when you violate parole?
When you are suspected of violating parole, the first thing that usually happens is that you are arrested and taken into custody. Once in jail, you'll be made to wait for your preliminary hearing. At the preliminary hearing, your case will be presented before a parole board that has no connection to your case. It will be the parole board's responsibility to determine whether or not a violation has taken place. If the parole board determines a violation has taken place, a revocation hearing will be scheduled.
What is a revocation hearing?
The revocation hearing is the final hearing to determine what will happen to you, now that it's been determined that you violated your parole. At the revocation hearing, the parole board will determine whether or not you should be sent back to prison or if some other consequence should take place.
Do you have to wait in jail for your revocation hearing?
You may be held in jail, although some people who violate parole are allowed to go back to their homes and await their hearings there. Whether or not you are allowed to go home will depend on the exact circumstances of your case.
What if you violated parole for good reasons, or through an accident?
Sometimes people violate parole for reasons that are either out of their control or are in their control but with good intent. If you did violate parole but did it unknowingly or for necessary reasons, you can try to convince the parole board that this was the case. It will be up to the parole board to determine what kind of consequences to give you, or whether or not there should be consequences at all.
At times like this, the best thing you can do is speak with a criminal defense attorney. Whether or not an attorney can represent you at your hearings will depend on the state where you reside and may be up to the parole board. However, just consulting with an attorney at any time in the process can be helpful. For more information, contact a criminal defense lawyer today.