Violating parole: The risk of losing your freedom

Violating parole: The risk of losing your freedom

What does it actually take to send someone who breaks the rules of parole back to prison? Is it something you should worry about? What happens if you violate parole?

It’s actually more difficult to be returned to prison that you think, but it can happen. In most cases, violating a protection order, failing a urine test for drugs or even getting a DUI doesn’t automatically mean you’re going back to prison. Why? The Criminal Justice Reform Act has been put into place, and that means those on parole may get more than one chance to get their lives together.

When you get out of prison on parole, you’ll have to sign an agreement. This agreement may have some varying conditions, but they tend to be standardized. If you violate parole, there is a violation severity key that will be followed to determine what happens in your case.

For example, if you commit a new felony offense that is either Class 5 or 6, it’s probable that your supervisor will have to review what happened and determine where to go from there. A Class 2 misdemeanor, when committed by a low-risk offender, is normally treated informally.

If you test positive for marijuana, it’s considered a low-level offense in most cases, and that means you may have to write an apology or perhaps log in with your parole officer each day. You could also lose your driving privileges or have electronics removed from your home.

In any case, violating your parole doesn’t automatically mean you’re going back to prison. Your attorney can help you understand what may happen if you’re concerned about your freedom after a violation.

Source: Argus Leader, “What does it take to send a parolee back to prison?,” John Hult, accessed Jan. 26, 2016

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