How Long Can They Keep You in Jail for a Parole Violation? Meaning, Consequences, and How to Avoid

How Long Can They Keep You in Jail for a Parole Violation?

Let’s first explore what parole is before getting into infractions. One word you hear a lot in the criminal court system is parole. It occurs when a prisoner receives an early release from jail, but they are not yet totally free. Instead, to stay out of jail, they have to abide by a set of guidelines. Parole is the term for this time of closely monitored freedom.
For example, a parolee may be required to find employment, attend parole officer meetings regularly, or stay away from specific individuals or locations. While allowing parolees to reintegrate into society, they are nonetheless responsible for their behavior. In addition to providing the length of time they can imprison you for a parole infraction, this blog post will address these queries.

What Distinguishes Parole from Probation?

In the criminal justice system, the phrases “probation” and “parole” are sometimes used interchangeably, but they both refer to a convicted offender’s community supervision. While parole boards make decisions after a person has served some of their terms, judges give probation during sentencing.


In misdemeanor or felony cases, probation entails requirements for defendants to pay restitution, complete batterer’s intervention programs, and finish programs for alcohol or drug misuse. A defendant may be charged with violating probation and having their probation revoked if they commit another crime or don’t adhere to their sentence; this will happen if there is sufficient justification.


Depending on the circumstances, including the gravity of the crime and the prisoner’s conduct, parole may be granted by the authorities to convicted felons serving a prison sentence. States employed discretionary parole before the 1970s, in which the state parole board assessed each case to see if it qualified for an early release. Through facilitating inmates’ reintegration into society, this rehabilitative strategy reduced the likelihood of recidivism.
States have switched to determinate or fixed sentences since the 1970s, emphasizing punishment over rehabilitation. Parole may start when the offender has completed enough time to qualify for it. Before deciding to grant parole, the majority of countries will consider the following:

  • Details of the defendant’s conviction case, such as reports from police enforcement
  • Records about the defendant’s actions during their sentence, including completed programs
  • Input from the prosecutor’s office and any victims of crime involved in the case
  • Remarks made by the defendant, the criminal defense attorney, and the witnesses. The defendant’s capacity to contribute to society and abstain from criminal activity will be the main concern.

A parolee’s release from custody is contingent upon adhering to all parole authorities’ rules and restrictions. Breaking these rules may result in accusations of parole violations and a potential re-entry into jail.

How Long Can They Keep You in Jail for a Parole Violation? Penalties for Violations of Parole

Authorities in charge of parole may choose to apply different sanctions when they discover that a parolee has broken the terms of their release. The severity of the violation and the parolee’s criminal past will determine the appropriate punishment. Any history of past infractions may fall under this category. The following penalties are possible:

Partially revocation: The court has the authority to partially revoke parole, imposing a set amount of jail time until parole is again available.
Complete revocation: The parolee serves out the remaining portion of their initial term behind bars.
Extended period of supervision: The parole board decides to keep the parolee on parole longer after releasing them. This usually cannot increase the parolee’s overall term over the court’s initial sentence.
Tolling: When determining when supervision ceases, the time spent clearing a violation does not count toward parole time. Therefore, the parole violation lengthens the period of parole supervision.
Modification of conditions: Following the hearing, the parole board adds new conditions to the existing ones, allowing for continuing parole.
Penalties: If a parole violator fails to pay the required administrative charges, the parole board may in some cases impose a punishment.
Charges in the criminal domain: A parolee who commits a new felony while on parole will probably be subject to penalties for parole violations. In addition, they might get a sentence for the new infraction.

How Long Can They Keep You in Jail for a Parole Violation? Charges for Parole Violations

When parolees break their terms of release, parole authorities have the authority to arrest them and hold them for predetermined periods. Alternatively, they could issue a summons or ask for a judge’s warrant. States must establish a parole breach by a “preponderance of the evidence,” which is a lesser standard than that which applies to criminal prosecutions. Parole is a privilege, not a right.

Also, during a violation hearing, parolees are entitled to the following:

  • The authority to demand that the state reveal the proof used to substantiate the claims of violation
  • The ability to call witnesses to testify and offer evidence
  • A right to question state witnesses in cross-examination
  • The right to legal representation, which can entail the hiring of a public defender from the area
  • During a violation hearing, a parole hearing officer or other official will gather information about the alleged violation, evaluate the evidence, determine If the parolee breached the terms of their release, and determine the appropriate sentence. There may be two hearings in some jurisdictions; the first determines probable cause, and the second determines if revocation is the proper punishment. Testimonies from witnesses are possible, and the parole officer’s recommendation may be very influential.

What Is the Maximum Penalty Term for Breaking Probation or Parole?

There are two main types of probation and parole violations: substantive and technical. Lawbreaking while on parole or probation constitutes a substantive breach. Technical infractions are when there is a term infringement, such as when you miss your PO appointment. Significant infractions are typically regarded as more grave.

Your first criminal sentence may affect the length of time you spend in jail for breaking your parole or probation. However, if you commit more crimes, you can be subject to a longer sentence.

How Long Can They Keep You in Jail for a Parole Violation? What Conditions Apply to Parole or Probation?

The initial offense, your circumstances, and state law may all affect the conditions of your probation or parole. Typical conditions of your probation could be:

  • Community service
  • Drug testing
  • Attending any court dates
  • Domestic violence counseling
  • Following no-contact or restraining orders,
  • Curfew

How Long Can They Keep You in Jail for a Parole Violation? What Takes Place If You Break Your Parole or Probation?

Texas has laws that determine the severity of punishment for violating parole or probation. Texas uses community monitoring and has the authority to issue blue warrants for arrests. Technical infractions for the first time could result in warnings or a return to parole conditions.

For substantive offenses, obtaining legal counsel and removing additional charges are necessary. Revocation frequently occurs for persistent infractions. Convictions for new offenses while on parole or probation may result in a longer sentence.

FAQs on How Long Can They Keep You in Jail for a Parole Violation?

Can You Break a Parole or Probation Order and Avoid Going to Jail?

Indeed. If you behave well and adhere to the terms of your probation, you may be able to avoid going to prison. This involves a first administrative infraction, excellent behavior while incarcerated, and cooperation with the court.

To find out why you violated the rules, your PO can decide to set up a meeting with you. There might not be any further hearings for probation violations, allowing you to complete your parole or probationary period.

Is It Possible to Drop a Probation or Parole Violation?

Yes, primarily in cases where a substantive infraction was dropped or you were found not guilty of a new offense. Dismissal for a fresh criminal conviction is considerably less likely.

Meeting the requirements set forth by the court might also result in the termination of probation and parole. These can entail finishing a recovery program, going to DUI school, or paying off court costs.

What Takes Place If You Repeat Probation or Parole Violations?

The likelihood of having your probation revoked increases with the number of infractions. Your chances of having your probation or parole revoked rise if you break the terms of your agreement more than once. Speak with a probation violation lawyer if you are concerned that your probation may be revoked and you don’t want to go back to jail.

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