If you are convicted of a criminal offense and sentenced to serve a period of incarceration in the state or federal prison you will likely be released onto parole at some point in time toward the end of your sentence. While on parole you will be supervised and be expected to abide by certain conditions. If you violate one of those conditions a parole violation could be filed with Tennessee Board of Parole. As a parolee, it is important for you to understand the potential punishment for a parole violation.
Although people often use the terms “probation” and “parole” interchangeably they are actually not the same thing. A defendant can be sentenced directly by the sentencing judge to a term of probation in addition to, or in lieu of, a period of incarceration in the county jail. While on probation an offender is supervised by the sentencing court. A violation of probation, therefore, is also handled by the sentencing court. Parole, on the other hand, follows a term of incarceration in state or federal prison. After an inmate has served the mandatory minimum portion of his/her sentence in prison a hearing will be held in front of the Tennessee Board of Parole in the case of a state crime or the U.S. Parole Commission if convicted of a federal crime. The Board of Parole, or BOP, then has the authority to decide if the inmate will be released onto parole to serve the remainder of his/her sentence. While on parole for a state offense the offender is supervised by the Tennessee Department of Corrections.
Parole is a type of community supervision, meaning that you remain under the authority of the judicial system throughout your term of parole. While on parole you must abide by standard and special conditions as determined by the BOP. Standard conditions apply to all parolees and are typically things such as:
- Maintaining employment
- Reporting to your parole officer
- Abstaining from the use of alcohol or illegal drugs
- Not committing a new offense
Special conditions apply only to you and are tailored to your specific needs/history/conviction and may include things such as:
- Abiding by a no contact order
- Completing anger management counseling
- Attending AA or NA meetings
If you violate any of the terms of your parole your parole officer may file a violation with the BOP. You will then be called before the BOP for a hearing to determine if you did, indeed, violate your parole. If the BOP finds that a violation occurred you could be returned to prison to finish out the remainder of you sentence. Remember that when released onto parole an offender has only served a portion of his/her sentence. The remainder of your sentence is intended to be served in the community on parole; however, if you violate that privilege you will likely be returned to prison to serve out the remainder of your time behind bars.
If you have been notified that a parole violation has been filed, or may be filed, it is imperative that you consult with the experienced Tennessee criminal defense attorneys at Bennett, Michael & Hornsby. Contact the team today by calling 615-898-1560 to schedule your appointment.