This is the sixth post in our series on dealing with sexual assault charges in Little Rock, Arkansas. Our last article provided information on the process after one has been arrested for sexual assault. We also gave details on how jury trials are conducted in these matters. In this article we will discuss the implications of serving probation or parole after a conviction. If you require assistance, contact our office today to speak with an attorney.
Little Rock defendants should understand that there is a difference between probation and parole
It is important to note that although probation and parole are both forms of supervised release, there are distinctions between the two. Probation is a form of supervised release ordered by the Court. It is often given in lieu of all or a portion of a jail sentence. A defendant may recieve a sentence solely consisting of probation. This means that he or she may never see the inside of a jail cell. Therefore, probation may be served as an alternative to incarceration or after an individual is imprisoned.
Conversely, parole is not a function of the Court. Parole is determined by the Parole Board and it will only be given once an inmate has served a portion of his or her sentence. Eligibility for parole is automatically computed by the Arkansas Department of Correction. However, eligibility does not mean that one will be released, as parole can be approved or denied by the Board. For instance, suppose an inmate has served seven years of a ten-year sentence. The Department of Correction may have determined that for the particular offense the inmate was eligible for early release, subject to parole. That individual goes before the Board, but it is found that he or she has had multiple infractions during his or her prison stay. The Board may decide that it is in the best interest of society to deny this individual parole because he or she continues to pose a danger. Nonetheless, even if you are denied parole, you may apply for reconsideration.
What Little Rock defendants can expect once they have been placed on a form of supervised release
So what happens once a Little Rock defendant or inmate is placed on parole or probation? Well, there are some similarities as to the restrictions placed on those serving probation or parole. Both probation and parole require that the individual periodically reports to an officer that will monitor the terms of their release. This means that the defendant or former inmate will have to refrain from engaging in certain activities, such as recreational drug use, alcohol use, etc. In cases involving sexual assault, one will typically be placed on a sex offender registry. The registry typically requires that the individual inform a community when he or she decides to move into their neighborhood. Further, the registry may have restrictions that prevent one from living within a specified distance of schools, daycares, or children. These conditions often make it difficult to find suitable housing or employment because they are often found through background checks.
It is also crucial that those given the opportunity serve their sentences in the “free world” recognize the potential consequences of violating the conditions of their release. For those serving probation or parole, a violation will usually result in being sent to or returned to jail to complete their sentences. Furthermore, if one violates the terms of their release by committing another crime, they may be sentenced more harshly due to their current legal predicament. It is important to remember that the restrictions associated with supervised release can be quite stringent. It is better to abide by those restrictions and attempt to complete the probation or parole unscathed. An experienced attorney can help you navigate this process as seamlessly as possible.
Contact our office today to speak with a Little Rock lawyer if you have been arrested for sexual assault. We also handle matters in Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Springdale, Jonesboro, North Little Rock, Conway, Rogers, Pine Bluff and throughout the rest of the state.