What Happens If I’m Caught Violating the Terms of My Parole in South Carolina

inmate in prison

If you’ve been sentenced to serve jail time for committing a crime in South Carolina, depending on whether you pose a threat to society, you may be granted an early release through parole. After serving a portion of your sentence, you could be granted conditional freedom based on your good behavior. However, you must comply with specific conditions to re-enter the community. Violating parole can result in an array of harsh penalties, including the possibility of returning to prison. If you face allegations of a parole violation in South Carolina, you must connect with an experienced Chesterfield Criminal Defense Lawyer who can effectively represent your interests and protect your rights. 

What is Parole?

Parole is a supervised release program in which prisoners who have served a portion of their sentence and have demonstrated rehabilitation are granted early release for their good behavior. Parole is designed to reintegrate individuals back into society. However, paroles must adhere to strict parole conditions in exchange for this conditional freedom. The conditions will be tailored to each prisoner’s situation. Parole conditions must be closely followed. Some common parole conditions include:

  • Maintain employment and a residence.
  • Obey a curfew
  • Avoid criminal activity
  • Refrain from contacting any victims
  • Refrain from drug or alcohol use (agree to random drug testing)
  • Attend drug or alcohol recovery meetings
  • Stay within a specified geographic area (cannot leave without permission from the parole officer)

Under the traditional system, parolees are assigned a parole officer to meet with periodically to ensure they adhere to their release conditions. Non-compliance can lead to severe consequences, including additional time behind bars. In South Carolina, parole is viewed as a privilege for inmates, not a right.

What Are the Consequences of Violating Parole in South Carolina?

When a parole violation occurs in South Carolina, law enforcement agents have the authority to arrest the parolee as long as they have probable cause that the parolee committed a violation or a new criminal offense. After a parolee is arrested, they will be held in custody until their hearing. Parolees are entitled to revocation hearings in which they go before a parole board or judge who considers the nature and circumstances of the violation to determine the appropriate consequences. Understanding that a parolee’s conditional freedom cannot be revoked without a hearing is imperative.

The parolee may face various penalties if a parole violation is established during the hearing. These penalties will vary depending on the severity of the breach and the parolee’s criminal history. Parole boards or courts can impose steep monetary fines, extend parole periods, reinstate original sentences, and impose additional conditions on the parolees. Those facing minor violations often face stricter conditions, but you will not be taken back into custody. However, those facing significant violations could be ordered to finish the remainder of their jail sentence or serve more time than their original sentence.

Don’t face the complexities of a parole violation alone. At the Cockrell Law Firm, P.C., we are prepared to help you build a strong defense and advocate for the best possible outcome in your parole revocation hearing. Contact our legal team today to learn how we can fight for you.