Missing a Call From Your Parole Officer: Is It a Crime

Missing a Call From Your Parole Officer: Is It a Crime

Can missing a call from your PO be considered a parole violation? For one 76-year-old woman, it did. Let's take a look.

Call Waiting

Septuagenarian Gwen Levi was in a computer class when she got a call from her parole officer, but Levi turned her phone off and missed the call by following the class rules. As a result, she was sent back to prison to serve the rest of her 24-year sentence for conspiring to sell heroin in 2005.

Her parole officer and the halfway house where she was living, Volunteers of America Chesapeake, claim that Levi was impossible to reach. Still, her defense says that it's a simple mistake.

So, can one missed call put you behind bars? What constitutes a parole violation? Keep reading to find out.

Parole Violations

When an individual is released on parole, they are allowed to be free based on a set of restrictions and requirements. For example, someone convicted of a DUI may not be able to drive or ride in a vehicle without their parole officer for the duration of their release.

Often, parole is decided by a parole board based on the inmate's behavior in prison as opposed to probation which a judge decides before a person is ever sent to prison.

In Levi's case, she had already served a sizeable chunk of her time and was released due to her good behavior and successful rehabilitation in prison. However, despite statements to her character that point to the contrary, Levi's PO says that she could have been reoffending during the time that she missed the call.

For Gwen Levi, a condition of her release is that she must maintain contact with her parole officer until told otherwise. This means picking up the phone when they call and attending regular check-ins. Is an honest mistake worth sending a 76-year-old back to prison?

Levi's Defense

Attorney Sapna Mirchandani believes that Levi's efforts to improve herself through computer classes and other outreach opportunities are more of a testament to her character than a single missed call.

Mirchandani points out that "if you're at a class, and they confirm you're at a class and you hadn't skipped town why are they charging you as an escapee."

Levi's case is a prime example of what can happen if you slip up on parole. Gwen Levi did not consciously deny her parole officer's call but was punished anyway. This also highlights the importance of a great defense.

Without a qualified advocate on your side, you could face the unforgiving arm of the law despite your best efforts. Laying the groundwork for freedom starts at your arrest. If you cannot obtain an attorney as soon as possible, your chances of success in court decrease with every passing minute.

The good news is you can have the legal guidance you need, and it may be closer than you think. Contact the Law Office of Armando J. Hernandez, P.A. today.

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