You have recently been released from jail on probation or parole. Dealing with the criminal justice system has added an incredible amount of stress to your life. The time has come to meet with your supervising officer, and it is the last thing that you feel like doing. Do you skip your meeting?
Checking in with a supervising officer is one of the major conditions of release for most probationers and parolees. Probation and parole officers, also known as POs, do not take kindly to people who miss their mandated check-ins. For probationers or parolees who fail to report to their POs, the state of Missouri may impose serious penalties.
If you don’t show up for your meeting, your probation officer may first allow you to slide by with a warning. This is a rare occurrence that is usually only permitted for first-time offenders, probationers whose offenses are minor or probationers who missed their meeting due to extenuated circumstances. Your PO may also report your absence to the court, which will trigger a probation violation hearing. If this happens, you must appear in court to admit or deny your violation.
The consequences of violating parole tend to be more severe than violating probation. Parole officers are much less likely to grant you a one-time pass if you miss your scheduled meeting. Offenders who repeatedly fail to meet their supervising officers for check-ins may face an extended period of parole. Parolees who continue to violate parole could face an even longer parole period or, in severe cases, a return to prison.
Options for parolees and probationers
Some people who have parole or probation continue to avoid their check-ins, hoping that their supervising officers will forget or that the problem will fade away. This is a serious mistake that will only make the situation worse. It may be better to consult a criminal defense attorney. An attorney can provide much-needed legal advice and defense for defendants who have missed a mandated check-in.