Violations of New York State Parole

I am often contacted by family members of parolees and other attorneys with questions about the parole revocation process.

What is parole?

When someone is paroled it means that they are released from prison and placed on community based supervision. They report to a parole officer. While on parole, if an individual violates one of the conditions of their parole or is arrested, the parole officer may file a violation. The violation results in the incarceration of the parolee. They are held without bail until a preliminary hearing (if they choose to have one) and then a final revocation hearing.

If you or a loved one has violated parole, it is a good idea to contact an attorney familiar with the parole revocation process. Just like every attorney is not a criminal defense attorney, not every criminal defense attorney is experienced with the parole revocation process.

What I write on this page is not intended to be legal advice. The information on this page is for informational purposes only.

What happens if I violate parole?

If an individual violates parole, a number of factors come into play. The parolee’s original offense and the basis for the violation are the most important. If someone is deemed a parole violator, the penalty for the violation falls into three categories:

Category 1: The parolee’s original offense was violent in nature or was a sex offense or the basis for their violation is in some way related to violence.

Category 2: The parolee’s original offense was drug related or the basis for their violation is drug related.

Category 3: The parolee’s original offense and the basis for the violation is non violent and not drug related.

Then there are instances when an individual does not fall into a category such as if they received a sentence that included Shock incarceration or they entered and completed the Willard Drug Treatment program. Additionally, if it is an individual’s third violation of parole they are considered a persistent violator.

Common questions about parole

Q: I’m on parole for manslaughter, my parole officer said I was Category 3 and I am getting 90 days?

A: That’s not correct.

Q: I am on parole for Grand Larceny. I do have a prior conviction for Assault in the Second Degree from nine years ago. Can they use that prior conviction against me even though it was long ago and I did my time?  

A: Yes!

Q: I violated parole with a new misdemeanor conviction, will that hurt me at my revocation hearing?

A: It is not going to help you, but for parole purposes, different misdemeanors can have different ramifications.

For further information on the parole revocation process, the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision offers the Parolee’s Handbook online which is fairly easy to read and understand.