Have you been arrested for a parole violation or probation violation in Columbia or elsewhere in South Carolina?
If you're on probation or parole, you have strict rules to follow. Here's what happens if you commit a probation and parole violation.
The Difference Between Probation and Parole
If you find yourself in trouble with the law, you may find yourself confused by some of the legal jargon. Navigating the legal system is a complicated process, which can lead to good people feeling railroaded by the system.
If you need help, contacting a lawyer should be your first step. Never talk to the police without having legal representation with you. This will help you get the best outcome for your case.
What is Probation
If you're a first time offender for a non-violent crime in South Carolina, the judge may offer you a sentence of probation. You could receive probation instead of jail time, but it can also be given to a defendant in addition to serving time.
Probation comes with rules that you must follow. If you violate those rules, you face jail time based on the crime committed. While on probation, you must:
- Not commit any crimes
- Stay away from guns and other weapons
- Avoid places and people deemed to have disreputable or harmful character
- Pay any fines ordered by the court
- Cooperate with your probation agent, including allowing them to visit your home, administer drug tests, and meeting with them
- Pass all drug tests and stay away from illegal substances
The court may also ask you to submit to house arrest and perform public service. Failure to meet any of these requirements could lead to a probation violation and probation revocation, meaning that you would face arrest and jail time.
While this seems like a lot, probation is always a better alternative to jail. You can still see your family, go to sleep in your bed, and maintain a sense of freedom. It's also important to remember that 80% of probationers complete their program, so you can too with the right help and support system.
Whether you get probation or jail time depends on several factors, with one of the most important being your legal representation. You need someone that will fight for you and work with the prosecution to ensure you receive a fair trial. The court will also take your previous record and commitments into account when deciding whether probation is a good option.
What is Parole
Parole is a secondary sentence that you receive after your time in a South Carolina prison. You enter parole after release. Often, you must follow rules similar to those under probation.
South Carolina considers parole a privilege and not right. They can both deny you parole and revoke it if you don't follow their rules.
The good news is that if you're granted parole, you can leave the prison system and live your life. An experienced lawyer can help you navigate the parole system and speak for you in front of the parole board. They can also help you follow the rules once you're released.
What happens when you're on Probation or Parole in South Carolina?
The South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole, and Pardon Services (DPPPS) is the government's regulatory department responsible for handling all probation and parole matters. If you've been paroled or sentenced to probation, the DPPPS assigns a probation and parole officer to your case. These officers are responsible for overseeing the terms and conditions of your probation or parole, and you're expected to check in with the assigned officer at designated times to avoid a violation of probation or parole. It’s not uncommon for your probation and parole officer to ask you take a drug test when you meet with them. Local authorities will alert the officer assigned to your case if you’re arrested for breaking the law.
Handling a Parole or Probation Violation in South Carolina
A violation of probation or parole normally results in a hearing before a judge who decides whether a violation did in fact occur. In addition to detailing for the judge the facts and nature of your violation, your probation and parole officer may also speak to their overall experience in their dealings with you during the course of your probation or parole. They may speak to your attendance to designated check-ins, the behavior or attitude you exhibited to them, and any other facts or circumstances they think may be relevant to the judge's determination. In most cases, after hearing from the probation and parole officer, the judge will want to hear from you and ask you some questions.
Your attorney will speak with both the officer and the judge on your behalf to minimize any potentially negative consequences you may otherwise face. David Tarr has experience in negotiating with probation officers, and will advise and assist you in gathering character witnesses to appear at your parole hearing on your behalf. These character witnesses can provide testimony that in many instances has produced a positive effect on the judge's decision and the outcome of your case.
Why you need a lawyer for a Parole or Probation Violation
David Tarr's cooperation with your parole or probation officer can be instrumental in preventing the filing of any violation. If modifications in your parole or probation agreement are in order, he will do everything he can to see them put in place.
He seeks to achieve the best outcome possible for his clients charged with violating parole or probation by addressing factors such as:
- New law violations
- Technical violations
- Violations of community control
- Positive drug tests
- Modified supervision
- Early termination of parole or probation.
He will maintain a relationship with the judge in your case and communicate for you during probation and parole. Since the judge determines whether you've violated probation or parole, this relationship is an important one, as it allows him to help you understand what you can and cannot do and present the judge with requests.
For example, if you have a wedding or funeral to attend out of state but aren't supposed to leave your home, our legal team can make a request on your behalf so that you don't have to worry about probation violation.
David Tarr handles all aspects of Parole or Probation Violations
If you believe there may be an outstanding warrant on you due to a violation of probation or parole, or you believe your probation officer is investigating you, the Law Office of David B. Tarr specializes in criminal defense cases. Whether you are seeking a parole or probation reinstatement, a posting of bond or a plea bargain, those duties require legal knowledge, negotiating skills and client commitment.
To schedule a free consultation you can reach me online or call 803-238-7967. Phones are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week. No attorney in South Carolina can match our around-the-clock, year-round availability.