In New York, after a person has served their mandated sentence of incarceration and are released from prison, they are on parole, or Post Release Supervision. The parolee is placed under a parole officer’s supervision and required to abide by certain rules and conditions to avoid being sent back to prison through a process called parole revocation.
When Is a Parolee Eligible for Arrest?
If there is reasonable cause for a parole officer to think a parolee violated one or multiple of their conditions of release, a warrant may issue which will remain active during the violation process. If the parolee is taken into custody they will be held without bail. Within three days of the warrant issuing, a Notice of Violation will be given to the parolee along with a list of alleged violations in a Violation of Release Report.
What Constitutes a Parole Violation?
A parolee can violate their parole for any new criminal charge whether or not a conviction occurs. A conviction may result in violation in addition to any other criminal penalties from the new charge. Violating any condition of parole, known as a technical violation, may also result in a parolee violating their parole. Common technical violations include:
- Drinking alcohol or using illegal drugs;
- Leaving the state or moving without permission;
- Associating with known criminals; and
- Failing to adhere to curfew.
Parole Revocation Hearings
Within fifteen days of the warrant issuing, a parolee is entitled to a Preliminary Hearing, held by a Preliminary Hearing Officer, to determine if probable cause exists to believe the parolee violated a condition of release. This may mean evidence and testimony must be presented by the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) to demonstrate a violation occurred. If there is no finding of probable cause, parole is not revoked the parolee’s warrant is lifted and they return to Post Release Supervision. If there is a finding of probable cause, a Final Hearing occurs. No Preliminary Hearing occurs if a parolee is convicted of a misdemeanor, and if a parolee is convicted of a felony and receives a prison sentence their supervision is revoked and no hearings occur. If a felony conviction doesn’t result in a prison sentence, a Final Hearing occurs.
A final hearing involves a parolee, represented by an attorney, and the DOCCS, represented by a Parole Revocation Specialist. Both sides may examine witnesses and present evidence. The hearing will result in a determination by Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) that the charges are or are not sustained.
If the charges are sustained and a parole violation is found, penalties may include a diversion program at a drug treatment center or an imposition of an additional term of incarceration. The additional term of incarceration may be determined by the ALJ, the Board of Parole, or a term prescribed by the category of the parolee’s violation.
New York Criminal Defense Lawyer
Parole revocation is one of the most serious concerns for anyone who has been convicted of a crime and served their time. If you are facing a potential parole violation, it’s important you have an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side to fight for you. Contact the experienced team at MOWK Law to have your questions answered today.