Do I need a lawyer for a parole hearing?
Most parole hearings are conducted without a lawyer. But, you can have one. In my recent experience, I was very valuable to my client. So, in many cases, yes.
Since the murder of the head of the Colorado Department of Corrections by a parolee, parole hearings have changed. Many believe that parole officers have too many clients to effectively supervise them all. Parole officers are under pressure to reduce their case-loads. They do this by violating parolees and putting them back in prison.
In my recent case, my client violated his parole by failing to comply with drug testing, failing to appear for parole meetings and by being convicted of a new felony charge. As is usually the case, the only issue we were arguing about was the sentence or consequence to his violations. His parole officer had enough. She wanted him remanded to prison for the remainder of his sentence. But, she did not know much about him. After investigating my client's past, we were able to show significant, untreated, abuse suffered by him that was the root of his drug use, anger and ultimately his criminal behavior. The parole officer had never heard about this information before. Once she had the proof, she changed her tune. She wanted my client released, put in counseling and back on parole. The parole hearing officer was not as sympathetic, but only revoked his parole for 180 days, with time served of 120 days. He would have gone back to prison for at least 3 years.
A lawyer can help you present your full truth with documentary evidence. Not all cases will be successful, but your best chance is with a lawyer.