Parole Violation Hearings

Parole Violations in California

 

Our Criminal Defense Lawyers Can Handle Parole Violation Related Matters (888) 589-9994


Information About Parole Violation Hearings in Los Angeles 

Being on Parole is a transitional legal status of all prisoners on release from a California prison after serving their sentence. The purpose of parole is to provide a transition period after incarceration to allow the inmate to become reintegrated into the community. Parole is a period of conditional, supervised freedom imposed on all prisoners on their release from prison. The parole system, although humanitarian in character, is reformatory in purpose.

 

On March 17, 2004 a federal district court judge found that California’s unitary Parole revocation procedure violates due process and consequently issued injunctions known as the Valdivia Injunctions. As a result, the entire system of state corrections underwent a radical reorganization in 2005. The current status of the law pertaining to parole matters is not well developed and consists of case law, of which there is little.

Under the Valdivia Injunction, a probable cause determination by the parole agent and parole supervisor must be made within 48 hours after a parole hold is placed, within 3 business days after placement of a parole hold the parolee is served with notice of the alleged parole violations and a return to custody assessment (RTCA) is issued by the Board of Parole Hearings (BPH) at the probable cause hearing (PCH). Many cases can informally be resolved at the PCH and if the right to a hearing is not waived, then PCH must be held within 10 business days of placement of the hold.

 

At the PCH a hearing officer evaluates the violation report and determines the appropriate action. This officer may either make a return to custody assessment (RTCA), may order alternative sanctions, may return a parolee to prison for up to 12 months or remove the hold and order the immediate release of the parolee. Our attorneys, in many cases, have been successful at getting matters resolved at this stage of the proceedings resulting in the immediate release of the parolee.

Should matters not get resolved at the probable cause hearing, a final revocation hearing must be held within 35 calendar days of the parole hold. The revocation hearing occurs on front of a hearing panel and is divided into two distinct parts.

 

FIRST STAGE: The first stage of the proceedings is the evidentiary phase where evidence of the charges is presented and considered along with sworn testimony from all witnesses, and the hearing officer adjourns to consider the evidence. The possible findings on each charge are “violation found,” “no violation found,” and “charge dismissed.”

SECOND STAGE: When a parolee is convicted of a crime, the panel, after a finding of good cause, convenes for the second stage of the hearing known as the disposition phase. Here, evidence is taken relevant to the issue of what penalty should be imposed on the parolee and after consideration of it the panel returns to announce its decision of whether to continue the parolee on parole or to return him/her to custody for some period of time.

 

While the Division of Adult Parole Operations (DAPO) bears the burden of proving the charged parole violation, unlike criminal charges, a violation needs to be proved only by a preponderance of the evidence.


We have handled many parole violation hearings with highly successful results.

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