Can You Go to Jail If You Violate Parole in New Jersey?

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Parole is an important benefit to many incarcerated people. Through parole, certain inmates are allowed to be released early under the supervision of a parole officer. The parolee agrees to certain conditions and their freedom is contingent upon their behavior after being released. When you violate your parole in New Jersey you can be penalized and even sent back to prison. If you require the help of an attorney, speak with a skilled Mercer County probation violation lawyer to discuss the details of your situation.

What Are the Conditions of Parole?

The terms and conditions of parole will vary depending on the unique circumstances of the person’s criminal history. There are some general guidelines that most people out on parole will have to follow. The following are some examples of conditions that a parolee must abide by.

  • They must check in with their parole officer regularly
  • They must agree to random home visits and searches
  • They must agree to random drug testing
  • They must get permission from their parole officer before traveling out of the state or country
  • They cannot obtain or possess firearms
  • They must maintain employment and give their parole officer updates on any employment changes in a timely manner

How Do You Violate Parole?

There are generally two ways that you can be guilty of violating your parole. When you break one or more of the conditions of your parole, you have committed a technical violation. A substantive violation is one where you committed a new crime while on parole. This new crime does not have anything to do with your prior conviction.

You might commit a technical violation by:

  • Possessing a firearm
  • Traveling out of state without informing their parole officer
  • Failing to notify your parole officer about a change in your employment status

You might commit a substantive violation by:

  • Committing a new crime that is unrelated to your previous conviction, for example, getting charged for a drug crime when you were in jail for assault

What Happens if You Are Caught Violating Parole?

New Jersey State Parole Board has what is known as the Revocation Hearing Unit. When a parolee is charged with violating the terms of their parole, the Revocation Hearing Unit will take over the case. You are entitled to two hearings. During the first hearing, they will determine whether or not you committed the charged violations or not.

If you are found to have committed the violations, the board will decide if the situation warrants your parole being revoked or if other action should be taken. They might decide to adjust the conditions of your parole agreement instead of revoking it altogether. If they do decide that you have seriously violated the terms of parole, you will have a revocation hearing.

Keep in mind that you may be arrested and placed in custody in the period between your first and second hearings. At your second hearing, your parole may be revoked and you could be placed back into incarceration to finish your sentence.

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