Will I Face Imprisonment for a Parole Violation in New Jersey?

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When an inmate is granted parole it can be a significant benefit to their situation, especially if they have been serving a lengthy sentence for years. Parole allows them to serve the remainder of their sentence out of prison and in the public. They can reunite with their family, get a job, and essentially be free. There are, however, certain conditions that they must still abide by. If a person is in violation of their parole agreement, it can result in serious penalties.

A technical violation is one where a person behaves in a way that disregards the terms of their agreement. A substantive violation is one where a person commits a new crime. Either way, parole can be revoked and the offender can find themselves back behind bars. To avoid this fate, work with an experienced Bergen County, New Jersey criminal defense lawyer.

How Does Parole Work?

In New Jersey, an inmate can become eligible for parole once they have served one-third of their sentence. There are certain circumstances where this does not apply, such as if the person was sentenced to a period of parole ineligibility or if they committed a serious infraction in the previous two years.

Once a person has been determined to be eligible for parole, they are assigned a parole officer. This person works to minimize the general public’s risk by checking in with the parolee and monitoring their behavior. There are certain conditions that the parolee must abide by to follow their parole and avoid trouble. Some conditions can include:

  • Checking in regularly with the parole officer
  • Living within the county limits of a defined area
  • Obtaining and maintaining employment
  • Agreeing to searches and random drug testing
  • Not contacting the victim of their crime
  • Not possessing a firearm or other weapon
  • Updating the parole officer about employment or living changes within a certain time frame
  • Not associating with certain people like known criminals or gang members
  • Obeying all laws

Will I Go Back to Jail for My Parole Violation?

If you do not obey the above or the specific terms of your probation, you will face penalties. In New Jersey, you are entitled to two hearings from the Revocation Hearing Unit. The first hearing is used to determine whether or not you committed the violations that you are accused of. If you did not, you are free to continue living your life on parole. If it is found that you did violate the terms of your parole, you will attend a second hearing where a punishment is decided upon. The following are potential consequences of your violation.

  • You could have stricter terms or more time added to the conditions of your parole
  • Your parole could be revoked and you could be sent back to prison to finish the remainder of your sentence
  • You could be charged related to a new crime you committed and have to serve your new sentence
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