It would be nice to think the threat of prison is gone once you are released on parole, but that’s not the case. Parole comes with a whole host of terms and conditions. If law enforcement has reason to believe you have violated those terms and conditions they will try to send you back to prison.
Thus, if you are accused of violating parole your parole violation hearing will require a defense every bit as vigorous as a first-time criminal case, even if all you did was miss a curfew.
Step 1 – Call an experienced criminal attorney.
If you try to manage your parole hearing yourself there’s a good chance you’ll be incarcerated again. It always helps to have someone who can mount an aggressive defense on your behalf.
Keep in mind a violation of probation accusation puts a much lower burden of proof on the prosecution than your original criminal case did, so representation is more important than ever.
Step 2 – Never waive your rights.
You may be asked if you want to waive your right to a preliminary hearing. This is a really bad idea. You will need every opportunity to defend yourself against an accusation of a parole violation.
Step 3 – Don’t talk, or sign anything, without an attorney present.
Law enforcement may try to get you to sign a document which acknowledges you did whatever it is they accused you of doing. They may also try to get you to incriminate yourself. Don’t say anything or sign anything without a lawyer there to tell you if it’s a good idea.
Keep in mind there are ways to keep you out of prison even if you did violate parole.
There is a growing awareness that the terms and conditions of parole are very difficult for most people to meet. Some of these conversations are leading to reform.
This awareness also gives us an avenue to discuss your parole with the judge and to perhaps get the violation pardoned. Sometimes things do happen. Honest mistakes get made. If this is the first time you’ve ever slipped up we can make a case that you’re neither a danger to yourself nor the community.
There may be other grounds we can use to argue for leniency as well.
So don’t give up. Speak with us about receiving the best defense we can give you. We’ve helped thousands of New York City defendants avoid reincarceration, and we can help you, too.
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