Under New Hampshire criminal law there is a difference between parole and probation. Pursuant to RSA 651:2 a judge may impose probation for a felony or misdemeanor in addition to, or instead of, actual incarceration. A person placed on probation will be supervised by a probation officer and subject to various rules which will often include such things as regular reporting to the probation officer, drug testing, mandatory counseling, no new criminal conduct, and travel restrictions. These are just some of the most common rules and the probation officer can also impose additional rules depending on the particular case.
If the probation officer accuses a defendant of violating the rules the defendant will be brought back to court for a hearing. If the judge finds that there has been a violation, he can impose a sentence up to a maximum punishment for the underlying offense. For example, if a defendant is sentenced to probation for a class B Felony that carries a maximum sentence of 3.5-7 years in prison and violates probation, he can be resentenced up to 3.5-7 years in prison. He will get no credit for the time he spent on probation without committing a violation.
The laws on parole are spelled out in RSA 651-A. The key differences between probation and parole is in how a defendant comes to be placed on parole and the consequences for a violation. Defendants who are sentenced to prison will generally be released and placed on parole. If the parolee is accused of a violation he will be brought back before the parole board for a hearing and if he is found in violation the board will send the person back to serve either a portion or the remainder of his prison sentence. The person will get credit for each day he spent on parole without a violation against his maximum sentence.
Have you or a loved one been charged with violating parole or probation? You need the defense lawyers of Cohen & Winters. Contact us today for a free consultation of your case.