El Cajon Parole Violations Attorneys
Except for rare circumstances, California imposes mandatory parole upon inmates released from a state prison after completing only a portion of their sentence for a felony conviction. Parole means that the person who just completed his or her jail sentence remains under the monitored supervision of a parole officer. However, it is not available for all types of crimes and each prisoner must meet state eligibility requirements. Parole boards consider the following factors when determining who should and should not receive parole:
- The type of crime committed
- The length of sentence and how much of it the inmate has served
- Year of the conviction
- Whether the inmate earned work time or good behavior credits while incarcerated
It’s important to remember that the granting of parole is a privilege and not a right. This means that a parole officer can modify the terms or even cancel the parole if a parolee’s situation changes. Additionally, inmates with a determined sentence such as 10 years typically receive parole automatically after serving the sentence. Those with an indeterminate sentence such as 25 years to life must attend a hearing for parole suitability.
Common Conditions of Parole in California
Even when you have secured release from a prison in California, the state still considers you a prisoner if you are on parole. Although you have the right to a limited degree of personal liberty, your parole status means that you must abide by several conditions. The basic premise behind parole is that you cannot engage in behavior that endangers the public. It’s common for the state to require newly-released prisoners to complete a rehabilitation program related to the reason for their prison sentence, such as those designed for sex offenders or substance abuse recovery. Other common conditions of parole include:
- Regular in-person meetings with your personal parole officer
- Agreeing to a search of your home, vehicle, or your person at any time
- Living and working in a designated geographical area
- Following all local and state laws as well as written provisions
- Receiving permission from your parole officer before you move or change jobs
- Refraining from the use of alcohol or illegal drugs
- Remaining gainfully employed
- Reporting a new arrest within 24 hours
- Completing and submitting a monthly report
If you served a prison sentence for a sex offense, you must register your name on the state sex offender registry and you may not live with any person under age 18 for the duration of your parole. Other conditions that may apply depending on the terms of your sentencing include not using the Internet if convicted of child pornography, not associating with known gang members if convicted of a gang-related crime, and not using or having weapons near you if you used one to commit a crime.
Consequences for Violating Parole in California
California Penal Code 3506 allows the state to impose penalties on former prisoners if they break the terms of their parole. These consequences can be quite severe, depending on your specific actions and the number of times you violated the terms. The penal code gives the state the right to change, modify, or revoke the terms of your parole pending a probation revocation hearing.
If the Board of Parole finds you guilty of violating one or more terms, you may have to return to prison to finish the remainder of your sentence. If it determines you did not violate the terms, you remain free but must still abide by the original conditions of your parole. Conviction of a new crime is grounds for automatic termination of your parole conditions. You will have a new sentence added on to the time you must return to prison for violating parole.
Your Right to Due Process at a Parole Revocation Hearing
Under laws established by the United States Supreme Court, every person accused of violating his or her parole has specific rights regarding the revocation meeting. This includes the provision that only a neutral and detached board with no personal stake in the outcome hold the hearing. Federal law also ensures that you have the following rights:
- You must receive a written notification informing you of the specific provisions of your parole that the state accuses you of violating
- During the hearing, members of the parole board must present the evidence they have against you
- You have the right to present your own witnesses and documentation that proves you did not commit the violations the board accuses you of
- You have the right to cross-examine and question witnesses brought in by the parole board
- Federal law requires the parole board to provide a written statement explaining its evidence and its reasons for moving to revoke your patrol
Possible Defenses to a Parole Violation
Unlike your original criminal case which required proof beyond a reasonable doubt, the burden of proof in a parole violation case requires only a preponderance of evidence. That means those bringing the charges against you only need to state that there’s a strong likelihood you committed the violation in question. Because the burden of proof is much lower at a parole revocation hearing, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney from Garmo & Garmo, Attorneys at Law, to present legal defenses on your behalf. These could include:
- You have been falsely accused by a police officer who dislikes anyone on probation, a victim of a past crime who doesn’t want you out of prison, a former romantic partner who wants to spite you, or another party.
- It was a case of mistaken identification.
- You did not receive your rights of due process.
- You admit to committing the violation but have a reasonable explanation for why you felt you had no choice.
Schedule Your Free Criminal Defense Consultation
Due to the reduced burden of proof and the very real possibility of returning to jail, you have no time to waste in hiring an attorney to defend you from parole violation charges. Please contact Garmo & Garmo at 619-441-2500 to request your free case review. Members of our legal team speak English, Arabic, Chaldean, and Spanish for your convenience.