Pennsylvania law defines parole as conditionally releasing an offender who has served part of his sentence in prison to serve the remainder of his sentence in the community under the supervision of a parole officer. The release is conditioned upon successfully following certain requirements to the parole.
An offender who is serving their sentence in prison may become eligible for parole consideration at their minimum sentence date. Every offender in Pennsylvania is given a minimum and maximum sentence date. Parole is not guaranteed for every offender. Upon being granted parole, the offender is required to follow certain requirements to their parole.
The courts in Pennsylvania have the authority to parole offenders who were sentenced to less than two years of incarceration. The Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole has the authority to parole offenders who were sentenced to incarceration for two years or longer.
Violating the terms of parole can lead to serious repercussions, and the court or Pennsylvania Parole Board has the authority to revoke or modify the terms of parole if the terms are not followed exactly as set forth by the court. Parole violations can occur for many reasons, and hiring an attorney to represent your side of the story may help you achieve the most desirable outcome in your particular situation.
If you were arrested for violating the conditions of your parole, it is important to contact an attorney who is knowledgeable in Pennsylvania’s criminal laws. Michael J. Skinner of the Skinner Law Firm will discuss the facts and circumstances of your particular case with you and make every effort to fight the allegations against you. Call (610) 436-1410 today for a consultation about your alleged offense.
Parole is a conditional release from incarceration to serve the balance of the original sentence under the supervision of a parole officer while in the community. Probation is a sentencing alternative not involving a period of incarceration. The conditions are typically the same and both are usually penalized the same for violations.
Failure to follow conditions of parole can result in a violation of parole and may lead to severe consequences, including a return to prison. Common conditions of parole include, but are not limited to, the following:
Parole violators in Pennsylvania can be technical parole violators and/or convicted parole violators. Technical parole violators are individuals who have violated a condition of their parole. Convicted parole offenders are individuals who have been convicted of another crime while serving their parole in the community.
If an individual has been arrested for violating parole in Pennsylvania, they are entitled to a parole violation hearing to establish they violated the terms of their parole.
An individual who has violated the terms of their parole or an individual who has committed a new offense in violation of their parole is entitled to be heard by a panel, to have an attorney at the hearing, to speak on their behalf, to have voluntary witnesses appear on their behalf, and may request a continuance of the hearing for good cause.
The prosecuting attorney at a parole violation hearing is not required to prove an individual violated their parole beyond a reasonable doubt like in a typical criminal trial. The evidentiary standard for parole violations is a preponderance of the evidence, or that the parolee more likely than not violated a requirement to their parole. This is a much lower standard to meet than beyond a reasonable doubt. Therefore, it is imperative to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer because it is usually easier for a prosecutor to meet their evidentiary burden at a parole hearing than a new criminally trial.
According to 61 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6138, an individual who violates any terms of their parole or who commits a new offense while on parole can receive significant penalties, including requirements to serve the maximum sentence for their original offense.
If an individual is a technical parole violator, they may be penalized with additional restraints on their freedom, sent to a treatment program, or committed to prison, depending on how severe the violation was.
If an individual is a convicted parole violator, they are returned to prison and will be required to serve any time remaining on their sentence, which they could have been sentenced to, and they will not be given any credit for the time spent on parole.
Contact the Skinner Law Firm at (610) 436-1410 today for a consultation about your parole violation in Chester County, Pennsylvania, and the surrounding counties of Delaware County. Michael J. Skinner is an experienced defense lawyer and former prosecutor who will make every effort to help you avoid the most serious penalties and repercussions for your alleged offense.