Probation and parole are a set of conditions imposed as part of the punishment for committing a crime. There are many different theories behind sentencing to probation or granting of parole, but at their heart both share the same goals: to help former criminals avoid committing further crimes and enable successful re-integration into society.
Probation is slightly different because of the role it often plays in deferred and suspended sentencing. In some cases, attorneys can obtain a sentence of probation, rather than prison for a client. In a deferred sentence, the case may be dismissed if the defendant meets all of the terms established for probation, resulting in no criminal conviction. A suspended sentence allows the defendant to serve their time on probation rather than in prison. Each sentence is unique and may impose separate requirements, and may also be tailored to meet the facts of each case. An experienced criminal defense attorney is essential to the sentencing process. Not all lawyers in Tulsa, OK, Oklahoma City, or elsewhere within the state have extensive experience with probation & parole. Finding an experienced and qualified legal professional is vital.
In virtually every circumstance where probation or parole comes into play, violating the terms of the probation or parole will lead to harsher consequences. It is very common for violations of probation or parole to end in more jail time, and monetary fines.
Parole and probation may seem restrictive, but many defendants prefer those restrictions to the complete loss of freedom that accompanies incarceration. Understanding the restrictions and adhering to them as strictly as possible is crucial for any defendant. Some common conditions within the state of Oklahoma include:
- Travel restrictions, including the inability to leave Oklahoma without prior written consent
- Regular reporting to a parole officer
- Requirement to obey all other laws
- Not permitted to use or possess drugs or alcohol, regardless of legality otherwise
- No association with others convicted of crimes
- Payment of required parole fees
- Participation in state programs, rehabilitation programs or community service as a condition of probation or parole
- Mandatory drug testing
- Possible living restraints- such as living in a halfway house or group home
- Mandatory counseling and therapy
In addition to sentencing, parole issues also arise when incarcerated individuals wish to petition for early release. Those who have been convicted of certain violent crimes, such as Murder I, Rape I, Burglary I, Child Abuse and Child Pornography, may be eligible for parole after serving 85% of the sentence, and under current law, a non-violent offender is eligible for parole when one-third of the sentence has been served. In most cases, an attorney is required to effectuate the process, especially since Oklahoma requires a hearing for parole consideration, in which the district attorney may officially protest the parole and victims may make statements objecting, as well. During the parole process, the offender is permitted to have counsel during these hearings. Legal representation during parole consideration may significantly affect the outcome of the Parole Board’s determination, especially since the offender is permitted to cross-examine those who make allegations against the offender during the hearing. If you or a family member may be eligible for parole consideration, contact one of the Oklahoma City-based attorneys at M.K. Bailey Law Offices, for a free consultation on the possibility of requesting parole.
If you are fighting accusations of criminal conduct, MK Bailey Law Offices lawyers in Oklahoma may be able to help you obtain parole or probation. If you have been accused of violating your parole or probation, we stand ready to help you. Our experienced criminal law attorneys specialize in Oklahoma’s unique probation and parole requirements and can help ensure that your rights are protected.