Most people’s number one goal when faced with a criminal charge is to avoid spending a long period of time in prison. However, the rules one must follow when under probation are relatively stringent and the consequences of parole and probation violations in Greenville, South Carolina are severe.

When a defendant is placed on probation, you are monitored closely and if you put a foot wrong during the time period, you could end up in jail.

Parole and Probation Violations in Greenville, South Carolina

The precise rules to follow when under probation or on parole tend to vary based on the type of crime a defendant commits and the seriousness of that crime. It is important to understand the rules that must be followed, since breaking any of the terms could result in spending time in jail. It is best to consult with a dedicated parole and probation lawyer who will clearly explain the rules.

What Happens When a Defendant Violates Their Probation Terms?

When one violates probation, the penalty will be handled in court or administratively by the probation officer. Since each violation and each crime is different, there is no clear list to let a defendant know how their violation will be handled by the probation officer or court.

If the violation cannot, for whatever reason, be handled by the probation officer, the defendant will be summoned to appear in the General Sessions court. Should the defendant fail to appear in court, the court issues a bench warrant and will bring the defendant in for the hearing.

What to Expect at the Hearing

When one commits parole and probation violations in Greenville, South Carolina, you will either have to deny or admit the violations at the court hearing. Once you have entered a plea, the parole and probation lawyer will present evidence to support the argument or contest the violation.

Depending on the violation, an attorney might choose to present what is called evidence in mitigation, which is any evidence to explain why the violation happened, to show that the defendant is not entirely to blame.

It is then left to the judge to determine what to do once all the evidence has been presented at the hearing. The judge may decide to dismiss the violation altogether. Which means the defendant will not suffer any consequences for the actions, or the judge could decide to send the defendant to jail. In severe circumstances, the judge has the right to revoke probation and send the defendant straight to jail to serve the remainder of the sentence.

Should you be sentenced to imprisonment, you will immediately be taken into custody. In some cases, the judge may delay reporting time, but this is not particularly common and ultimately depends on the degree to which the judge thinks that the defendant could be a flight risk.

Frequently Asked Questions About SC Parole and Probation Violations

  1. Can one bond out parole and probation violations in Greenville, South Carolina?

If one is arrested for a violation, you may be released on bond until you appear for your hearing in court. The amount of bond is usually set at a bond hearing.

  1. Could your actions result in extradition?

If you are accused of a violation, you may be extradited, and therefore charged fees that are intended to cover the cost of extradition.

  1. Will a violation affect chances of employment?

It depends on the job. If an employer has set rules in terms of convictions, your job could be in jeopardy.

  1. Is it considered a violation of probation if you fail a drug test?

Testing positive for alcohol or drugs is a violation of probation.

  1. Is a violation a public record?

If you violate the terms of your probation, it does become public record and is reported on any future background checks.

  1. What are considered violations?

There are numerous ways to commit parole and probation violations in Greenville, South Carolina, most of which result from failing to do something you were required to do under the terms of the parole or probation, such as failure to pay the fees or check in with a parole officer. You may also commit a new crime while under your current probation, which is a violation.

  1. How many violations can one have?

There is no set number, and since violations vary in severity, you could receive multiple violations and remain on probation.

  1. Does one have to go to jail for committing a violation?

This is up to the judge, whose decision will depend on several factors, such as the amount of prior offenses, the seriousness of the offense, and the judge’s attitude toward violations.

  1. What happens if credit is denied post-violation?

As one moves through the probation period, you earn credits for the time completed, and if one is found guilty of a violation, you may be denied credits. What this means is that you could lose credit for time that you did serve under the probation or parole.

  1. Is a violation considered a misdemeanor or a felony in South Carolina?

It can be either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the momentousness of the violation. The ultimate classification of the probation violation depends of the specifics of the actual violation.

  1. Is parole the same thing as probation?

Yes, these are similar concepts, but they are not identical. Parole is court-ordered supervision after one is released early from prison, whereas probation is a court-ordered supervision to be served either instead of jail time or prior to jail time. However, the rules for both are similar.

  1. Can a defendant own a gun when they are on probation?

Typically, people on probation may not have weapons. This can be a challenging rule is one shares a house with someone who does own firearms. It is best to talk to a dedicated attorney about what to do in such circumstances.

  1. What are the consequences of violating parole in Greenville, South Carolina?

When you violate any terms and conditions of your parole, it may be revoked. Your parole officer has the right to either issue a citation or a warrant. If the officer issues a warrant, you will be arrested, and bond will be set by a judge.

In most circumstances, when a parolee is accused of violating parole, you will not be granted bond. However, you will have to serve time in jail until the revocation hearing. Should the parole be revoked at the hearing, you can be sent back to jail to serve either the entire remaining sentence or a portion of your remaining sentence.

If you do have to return to jail, you could be eligible for parole once again, once you have served that additional time in prison.

  1. What happens at a parole revocation hearing?

A defendant’s parole may not be revoked with a revocation hearing. A number of people attend the revocation hearing, including a hearing officer, a parole officer, and the parolee. Should the parolee have a lawyer, the parole and probation lawyer will also attend the hearing. It is up to the parole officer to submit a parole certificate into evidence for the parolee so as to establish the jurisdiction to hear the revocation matter.

Next, the parolee is asked if he or she would like to waive hearing the rights or have them read out in the hearing. The hearing officer will then name each of the alleged violations, and you can either deny or admit each of the violations.

Later in the hearing, you are given the chance to explain your side of the story. Your parole office will be permitted to submit any relevant evidence, which could include the officer’s report, and any other testimony or documentation. Either you or your parole attorney or probation lawyer might object to items offered into evidence as those items are submitted as evidence. The parole and probation lawyer will also have the opportunity to cross-examine the attending parole officer and any witnesses that are called to testify against you.

At a parole revocation hearing, the burden of proof tends to be a great deal lower than the burden of proof that is needed at a criminal trial. Essentially, parole violations are to be proven by preponderance of the evidence, and this means that the attending parole officer is required to establish that the violation is more likely than not to have taken place. In comparison, at a criminal trial, a defendant’s guilt has to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

It should be noted that being granted parole is in no way a right. Rather, being granted parole is to be considered a privilege. In most circumstances, the terms of parole are onerous and strict, and it can be relatively easy to violate those terms.

When a defendant is accused of parole and probation violations in Greenville, South Carolina, you can defend yourself at your revocation hearing. Since there is that much lower burden of proof requirement at such hearings, if you are accused of violating your terms, you will benefit from the assistance of a parole and probation lawyer to defend you against the allegations.

  1. What can a person not do and what are they allowed to do during that time?

When one is placed on parole or probation by the court, you are obligated to follow any conditions as set out by the Parole Board as well as the court. In addition to the general conditions that are typically set forth, the board or the court might decide to impose other special conditions that they deem appropriate in your case.

  1. When is a person eligible for parole?

One’s eligibility for parole is usually determined by the offense for which you are convicted.

  1. What happens to the new charge that led to the violation?

If you are charged with a new crime, you must still deal with it the same way you did the charge that placed you on probation in the first place. The fact that you are on probation just adds an additional layer of complexity to the situation, and in now does the new charge just disappear. What it means is that you will have two different things to deal with – this new charge as well as the probation violated that resulted from the previous charge. Usually, it is a good idea to handle both the violation and the new charge at the same time in an effort to avoid two separate sentencings.

  1. Do violation warrants expire?

No, probation warrants never expire and one will eventually have to face up to the charge.

  1. Can probation or parole violations be dismissed by a judge?

Yes, violations may well be dismissed, for instance, if a judge determines that you did not do anything wrong or if the judge feels that the violation does not deserve further punishment beyond the current probation that is in place. A parole attorney and probation lawyer will help you work with the judge to reach the best possible outcome.

  1. What happens if you commit a traffic violation while on probation or parole?

Sometimes a traffic violation can be considered a violation of your terms. However, it does depend on the conditions of the parole or probation. If one is placed on probation after a DUI, for example, a traffic violation might well be something the judge will view in a harsh manner. But, if you are on probation for a crime that had nothing to do with the operation of a vehicle, the traffic violation may not affect your terms. Keep in mind, though, that every case is unique.

Have a Greenville Parole and probation lawyer on Your Side to Fight Charges for Parole or Probation Violations

The parole attorney and probation lawyer at Brumback & Langley, LLC can assist with the terms of your violations in Greenville, South Carolina. Whether you have violated your terms or you are looking at a revocation, give us a call today to discuss the way forward and let us fight for the best possible outcome for your case.