Parole and probation are made available to prisoners who behave well in prison or have minor offenses before being charged with a crime. Probation is usually assigned before prison or is an alternative to prison. Meanwhile, parole is considered an early release from prison. Both parole and probation impose very narrow restrictions on the parolee. In most cases, a parolee can only work and live in certain places and with certain people. Failure to abide by parole and probation rules often cause parolees to be placed into prison with severe jail time.
No matter what the events were that may have led to you violating your parole and/or probation restrictions, contact a criminal defense attorney with The Law Office of Silverman, Mack & Associates to discuss your case. Serving Gainesville and the surrounding communities, our experienced attorneys are well-versed in Florida criminal law and will ensure that your rights are protected. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.
How Is Parole Defined?
According to Florida Commission On Offender Review, “parole is the release of an inmate, prior to the expiration of the inmate’s court-imposed sentence, with a period of supervision to be successfully completed by compliance with the conditions and terms of the release agreement ordered by the Commission. The decision of the Commission to parole an inmate shall represent an act of grace of the State and should not be considered a right.” In order to qualify for consideration of parole, an incarcerated individual must serve a certain portion — 85 percent or more — of his or her sentence in prison. Being granted parole is extremely rare in Florida.
Only inmates who were convicted before October 1, 1983, are eligible for parole, with a number of exceptions. Parole has effectively been abolished for the vast majority of inmates in Florida, with certain exceptions. However, the Florida Legislature established a law for conditional medical release in 1992, which allows the supervised release of inmates who are deemed by the Florida Department of Corrections to be permanently incapacitated or terminally ill and who don’t pose a danger to the public. The supervised release of those granted parole may be revoked if a willful, significant violation takes place, resulting in the offender being sent back to prison.
How Is Probation Defined?
In the State of Florida, probation is a form of community supervision which requires an offender to abide by court-ordered terms and conditions in lieu of incarceration, as outlined in Chapter 948 of Florida Statutes. Florida law outlines probation as a privilege — not a right — that does not constitute a punitive sentence. Florida’s Third District Court of Appeals refers to probation as a “grace of the state” which is imposed “in lieu of a sentence, with its principal function being the rehabilitation of a defendant and the protection of society.” Probation is based upon the offender’s personal accountability and responsibility while providing an adequate alternative to incarceration.
As such, probationers must comply with the court-ordered requirements and avoid further legal trouble. Probationers are typically required to meet with his or her probation officer regularly, adhere to that individual’s requirements, seek the court’s permission for any travel, and keep the probation officer informed of any updates or changes in his or her residence or employment status. Violations of probation occur when a defendant willfully and substantially fails to comply with the court-ordered terms and conditions of his or her probationary sentence.
Common Types Of Parole & Probation Violations
Violations to the terms and conditions of an individual's parole or probation typically result in harsh penalties and repercussions, including being sent back to prison for the remainder of his or her sentence, in addition to potential new charges as a result of the violation. Common types of parole and probation violations include the following.
- Failure to pass a drug and alcohol test
- Failure to adhere to terms of parole
- Failure to meet with parole or probation officer
- Failure to appear in court
- Failure to abide by Florida law
- Failure to gain adequate employment
Do I Need An Attorney For A Probation Or Parole Violation?
When a person fails to meet the guidelines of his or her parole and/or probation restraints, he/she may experience a whirlpool of struggles. Not only will he or she be subjected to additional jail time without the possibility of parole, but he or she may cause his or her family to experience economic difficulties. Probation and parole violations are not viewed positively in courts of law. They are often judged harshly. Depending on a court’s decision, these violations can make it impossible for a parolee to return to a sense of normalcy within the real world. An experienced Gainesville attorney with The Law Office of Silverman, Mack & Associates can help guide a negative situation to a positive outcome. No matter what the circumstances of your parole and/or probation violation are, you can count on our criminal defense attorneys to protect your interests and fight for your rights throughout each process of your case.
Preliminary Hearings For Alleged Violators
If you have been accused of violating your probation and/or parole restrictions, you may have an opportunity to explain yourself during a preliminary hearing. At this hearing, you will be allowed to bring evidence and documentation to support your reasons for violating your parole and/or probation policies.
In some cases, if you are able to provide a compelling reason for having to compromise your parole and/or probation restrictions, you may be released with a warning. However, without the assistance of adequate criminal law attorneys, the ramifications may be unnecessarily harsh and cruel.
Final Hearings For Alleged Violators
Final hearings are not necessarily required for all alleged violators. In many cases, the results are revealed immediately or a few weeks after the preliminary hearing depending on the state. For other individuals, however, the final hearing is what determines his or her fate.
At the final hearing, you will have the opportunity to reveal information to demonstrate that you had a compelling reason to violate your parole and/or probation restrictions. You may be sentenced to prison, placed on more strict parole/probation restrictions, or be given a warning.