There are two basic types of parole violations- Technical and New Criminal Conduct
This article explores the two basic types of parole violations and will discuss some minor details of each.
Probation or parole may be revoked for a legitimate technical violation, such as the willful failure to maintain a job, use of drugs or alcohol, or the failure to report to the probation or parole officer.The Commonwealth need only prove a violation of probation by a preponderance of the evidence. In order to prove a technical violation of a condition of parole, the Board is required to demonstrate that the parolee was at least somewhat at fault for the technical violation. If a condition imposed is vague, ambiguous, or capable of various interpretations, the courts will construe the condition against the Board when determining whether the condition has been violated.
A prohibition against being at a designated mall during "late" hours was found unworkably vague and violative of due process;
A condition which required a parolee to "notify" parole supervision staff within 72 hours of an arrest was not clear because it did not indicate what sort of notification was required;
A condition, "zero tolerance for any gang activity," was not defined by the Board, in statute or in case law. As a result, the court construed the condition against the Board and held that merely conversing with another gang member in a prison, without more, did not constitute "gang activity";
A parolee or probationer may have parole or probation revoked for failure to pay court imposed fines, costs, and restitution, as long as the Board or court makes a reasonable allowance for the parolee's or probationer's ability to pay;
Violations for new criminal conduct
Probation may be revoked because of new criminal conduct occurring before the probation begins or during the probationary or parole period. A probationer need not be convicted of the new crime for it to form a basis for revocation. By statute, it is a violation of state parole for any parolee to be convicted before a court of record of a crime occurring during the parole period. This could include convictions for summary offenses in the court of common pleas. A parolee found in violation of parole for a violation of an order entered under the Protection from Abuse Act would be deemed a "convicted" violator.
If you have questions about a parole violation or a pending charge as it may relate to a parole violation or detainer, contact the experienced parole team at Shaffer & Engle Law Offices, LLC toll free or email us today.