What is Parole in North Louisiana?
Parole in North Louisiana is a form of conditional release that allows a prisoner to serve the rest of their sentence in the community. While on parole, offenders are supervised by a parole officer and must comply with various conditions. If they fail to do so, they risk being returned to prison.
Parole is not an automatic right. While a prisoner may be entitled to apply for parole at a certain point of their sentence, parole is not guaranteed. Parole applications are heard and decided by a parole board.
Parole is designed to assist offenders to reenter society and readjust to life outside of a custodial environment. Supporting offenders in this way also reduces their risk of reoffending.
The criminal defense team at Lawrence Law Firm is here to help you understand your options. Call 318.232.4000 to schedule a Free Consultation to learn more.
Eligibility for Parole in Louisiana
Prisoners are usually required to serve a minimum amount of their sentence before they can apply for parole. A prisoner's parole eligibility date depends on the jurisdiction where they are applying.
Factors that may determine when an offender can apply for parole may include the type of offense they committed, the circumstances of the offense, the offender's criminal history, and their personal circumstances.
For the most serious offenses, prisoners sentenced to life without the possibility of parole are prohibited from ever applying for parole.
Common North Louisiana Parole Conditions
An offender's parole conditions will depend on the relevant law, the circumstances of offending, and the personal circumstances of the offender.
Parole conditions either impose a positive obligation on the offender or restrict their behavior. For example, some common parole conditions include the requirement to:
- Report regularly to a parole officer
- Maintain employment and a residential address
- Attend drug or alcohol counseling
- Submit to electronic monitoring
- Not commit any further offenses
- Not consume any drugs or alcohol
- Not leave the state without permission
- Not interact with other offenders
- Not possess a gun or other weapon
Parole boards generally have wide discretion when it comes to deciding parole conditions.
Parole Violations in Louisiana
There are serious consequences for failing to comply with conditions of parole. An offender may violate their parole by:
- Committing an offense
- Failing to report to a parole officer as required
- Failing a drug or alcohol test
- Leaving the state without prior permission
Possible consequences of violating parole include:
- A formal warning from a parole officer
- Stricter parole conditions such as increased drug testing
- Revocation of parole and return to prison to serve some or all of the remainder of the sentence
Before an offender's parole can be revoked, they will appear before at least one parole violation hearing. If they are contesting a violation, the hearing allows the offender to present evidence and challenge any evidence presented by the authorities.
How a Criminal Defense Attorney in Louisiana Can Help with Parole
Parole can be a complex process to navigate. It's not mandatory to hire an attorney to help you with your initial parole or parole violation hearing. However, if you contact Lawrence Law Firm, we can help you prepare strong submissions that give you the best chance of being released on parole and serving the rest of your sentence in the community. Fill out an online form today or call us at 318.232.4000 to learn more.