Probation and parole offer those convicted of crimes in Oklahoma the ability to serve part of their sentence outside the walls of a jail or correctional facility. Probation allows first offenders and those convicted of misdemeanors and nonviolent crimes to pay a penalty for their offense without unnecessarily punitive jail or prison time. Parole is designed to closely supervise a person convicted of a felony and to help him or her to successfully re-integrate into society.
While probation and parole allow those who have been convicted of a crime to maintain or regain their freedom, the programs are often quite restrictive. Conditions of parole or probation may be difficult, and some people find themselves struggling to comply with the terms of their release. A parole violation, however, can send a person who has worked to obtain early release right back to prison. A person on probation may be sent to jail or prison, and for those subject to a deferred judgment, probation violation can lead to conviction of a crime that would otherwise be dismissed upon completion of probation.
You and your attorney have worked hard to keep you out of jail or to secure your early release on parole. If you are accused of violating the terms of your release, your hard-won freedom is in jeopardy. You need experienced legal counsel to stop a motion to revoke (MTR) or to represent you at revocation or acceleration proceedings.
Judges have significant leeway in ascribing the individual terms of probation or parole depending on the circumstances of the case. However, there are a number of conditions which are frequently mandated for persons receiving probation or parole:
A failed drug test, a minor misdemeanor, or a failure to pay court costs can lead to the acceleration or your sentence or the revocation of your release. Do not let a slip-up cost your freedom. Make sure you understand and comply with all conditions of your release. If you are accused of a parole violation or probation violation, call your lawyer immediately.
If you are believed to have violated your parole or probation, prosecutors may file an Application to Accelerate/Revoke your probation. Generally, within 20 days of your not guilty plea, an evidentiary hearing will be held to allow the State to present evidence of your violation. The burden of proof in a Motion to Revoke your probation or accelerate your sentencing is much lower than that necessary in your criminal case. Rather than proving beyond a reasonable doubt that you violated your probation, prosecutors must only demonstrate the violation by a preponderance of evidence. In other words, they must show that it is more likely than not that you violated the rules and conditions of your release. If the State is successful in doing so, your sentence may be accelerated if you are subject to a deferred sentence. In this case, a judge does not wait until the end of your probation to enter a finding of guilt. Rather than receiving a dismissal of your case at the end of a deferred sentence, you will likely be convicted of the crime and sentenced to jail or prison. If you were serving a suspended sentence, the Application to Revoke will likely be granted, your probation ended, and you may serve the remainder of your sentence behind bars.
Being accused of a parole violation or probation violation can have a tremendous impact, sending a once free person to jail or prison. You may have been working hard to support your family and get your life on track, but a misunderstanding or mistake could put that all at risk. To speak with an attorney who is experienced in handling parole violation cases, call (405) 418-8888 or submit our confidential online form.