What Is a Parole Violation?

If you are currently on parole, or you are the loved one of someone who is, and a parole violation has been filed or may be filed, you should take the matter seriously as it could result in a return to incarceration. Because every parole violation is based on a unique set of facts and circumstances it is always best to consult with an experienced Tennessee criminal defense attorney as soon as you have reason to believe a violation is being filed, or has been filed; however, as a parolee or the loved one of a parolee it may also be helpful to have a better understanding of the parole system and the procedure and potential consequences for a parole violation.

People often use the terms “probation” and “parole” interchangeably, when in fact they are not the same. Although both are a type of community supervision, probation may be ordered in addition to, or in lieu of incarceration by the original sentencing court. As such, the sentencing court retains jurisdiction over probationers for the length of their probation. Parole, on the other hand, follows a term of incarceration. If you served time pursuant to a criminal conviction you may then have been released on “parole.”

Although the original sentencing judge decides your sentence, the Board of Parole, or BOP, decides whether or not you are released from incarceration onto parole after you have served the minimum amount of time required by law in prison. Parole allows you to serve the remaining portion of your sentence in the community instead of behind bars. The BOP also makes the decision to violate your parole if it believes reason exists to do so. While on parole you are supervised by the Department of Corrections. All parolees are required to abide by standard conditions of parole. In addition, you may have special conditions that apply to your parole. A violation of any of those conditions could be cause for a parole violation to be filed. Common reasons for a parole violation to be filed include, but are not limited to, the following:·

  • Failing to report to your parole officer as directed
  • Failing to maintain employment/enrollment in school
  • Testing positive for drugs or alcohol
  • Violating a no contact order
  • Being charged with a new criminal offense

If a violation is filed, a warrant for your arrest or an order to appear will be issued. A hearing will be held to determine if you did, indeed, violate your parole. If a violation is found to have occurred, you could be returned to prison to serve the remainder of your sentence.

If you have been notified that a parole violation has been filed it is in your best interest to consult with the experienced Tennessee criminal defense attorneys at Bennett, Michael & Hornsby immediately. Contact the team today by calling 615-898-1560 to schedule your appointment.


Stan Bennett