When you’re out on parole, it is very important not to violate the terms of that parole. The authorities only let you out on the condition that you follow their instructions and adhere to those terms without wavering. If you get caught breaking parole, you can face serious ramifications.
This can create some problems, though, as parole violations may feel very minor. You may not realize how important it is to follow the letter of the law or how easy it is to violate the terms.
For instance, if your parole terms state that you need to meet with a parole officer at a set time every month, what if you miss a meeting? Maybe you sleep through your alarm or get a flat tire. Are you now heading back to jail?
Or, maybe they said you can’t abuse alcohol after you get out. Who determines what abuse looks like? How many drinks can you have? Do you need to abstain entirely? Are you simply not allowed to be “drunk”, meaning that spacing your drinks out could adhere to the rules — while drinking the exact same amount of alcohol more quickly could violate them?
Often, parolees are told that they can’t violate the law in any way. Is an arrest for something minor, like jaywalking, going to violate your terms? What about an honest mistake, like accidentally breaking the speed limit when you didn’t see the sign and getting picked up for reckless driving?
As you can see, parole is not always as straightforward as you may assume. If you run into issues, you need to know your legal options.