What Happens If I Violate My Parole in California?
We do not handle parole violation cases. This blog post is only for informational purposes.
When you are granted parole in California, you are being given the opportunity to live outside the state prison system, but you are still under the control of the state. The consequences of violating your parole can be severe and life-changing.
If you have made a mistake while on parole in California or have been falsely accused of breaking the terms of your parole, you could be facing grave consequences. The parole conditions in this state can be harsh, which means you don’t want to take it lightly.
What is California Parole Law?
With few exceptions, California is a mandatory parole state. This means that any inmate who completes their state prison sentence will automatically be placed on parole once released. Eligibility for parole may occur based on a variety of factors such as the crime committed, the inmate’s sentence, any work time or “good time” credits, and the date of the conviction.
Common Parole Conditions
Parole conditions in California can be incredibly restrictive. The state still has strong control over you and your legal rights are considerably diminished as a parolee. Some common parole terms include:
- You consent to a search by law enforcement at any time, with or without cause, and without the need for a search warrant;
- You consent to reside within specified county limits;
- You agree not to violate any laws; and
- Your parole officer will be notified of where you work and live.
If you have been convicted of certain serious felonies, you may be required to register with local authorities. This includes individuals who have been convicted of certain drug crimes, arson, and sex offenses. You may also be restricted from working around or near weapons, from having access to the internet, and from having associations with known gang members.
What Happens If You Violate Your Parole?
If you violate any of the conditions or terms of your parole, you risk revocation of parole, meaning you could be reincarcerated. There are two ways that you can violate parole, and this will determine how the violation is handled.
If you violated your parole but didn’t break any laws, you will face a parole revocation hearing in front of a deputy commissioner for the parole board. If your parole is revoked, you could be sent back to prison for up to one year.
If you broke a law while violating your parole, you will have to face the parole board for a hearing and face additional criminal charges. Even if you are found not guilty of the crime, you still risk having your parole revoked.
Potential Defenses at a California Parole Violation Hearing
Many parole violations are accidental, but this is not a valid defense before the Board of Parole Hearings. Fortunately, this is not a criminal hearing, so there are more relaxed rules regarding evidence. The parole commissioner that decides your case can accept notes, hearsay, and other items as evidence that would not be admissible in a criminal trial.
As a parolee, you still have a right to due process. This means that you are entitled to notice of the allegations and hearings in writing and can have an attorney represent your rights. Your attorney may be able to attack the credibility of the evidence. Other valid defenses in parole violation cases are that either the allegations are untrue or that there were serious mitigating circumstances that explain your actions.
Speak with an Experienced California Parole Violations Attorney
If you have been accused of violating your parole in California, this is not something that you want to leave to chance. In most cases, you won’t be given the benefit of the doubt since the state has a lower burden of proof than in a standard criminal case.
The likelihood of your returning to prison is high, so it is vital that you speak with an experienced and aggressive California parole violations lawyer as quickly as possible. The attorneys at Garmo & Garmo will review the circumstances of your case, advise you of your options, and do everything possible to protect your rights and liberty.
Contact our San Diego office now at 619-441-2500 or reach us online to schedule a free consultation.