Probation and parole, although related concepts, are quite different things. Probation can be part of the sentence given when someone is convicted of a crime; it can be provided instead of or in combination with jail time. Parole is only granted after someone has served some or most of his/her jail sentence, and even then, it can be an unsure thing. The parole board gives parole, and they are not obligated to provide it, despite whatever plea bargains may have been made. Many factors can influence the decision of the board, including things like good behavior and demonstrated remorse.
Violating your probation or parole is a severe thing to do, and sometimes, people violate parole or probation without even knowing they were committing a violation. Some common ways that parole and probation can be violated include: being charged with another crime, positive drug test results, failure to report to a probation/parole officer or treatment program, substance use or abuse in violation of your probation/parole, failure to complete Court-ordered community service, and failure to pay restitution or fines.
Regardless of whether it is probation or parole that is concerned, breaking either will garner penalties for the offender, some of them severe. A probation violation, if you are convicted of it, can result in a loss of probationary status, and you can be remanded into prison to serve the time that was initially yours. A conviction for a parole violation can also send you right back to prison.
Typically, the standard for conviction in criminal cases is that the judge and jury must be convinced of guilt ‘‘beyond a reasonable doubt’’. However, in parole/probationary violation hearings, the judge is held to a much lower standard – they are allowed to be convinced by a ‘‘preponderance of evidence’’ instead of ‘‘beyond a reasonable doubt’’. What needs to prove that your violation was done willfully and knowingly – if the offense is proved to be inadvertent, or perhaps trivial, the case will usually be dismissed.
No matter what charges you may be facing, we at the Ault Firm can help you. We have years of experience in dealing with these cases, and we can help get your charges dropped. Call us today for a free consultation at (801) 539 – 9000.
(See our webpage for more information on probation and parole violations.)