Arizona law defines an absconder as a person who received probation and moved from their residence without consulting their probation officer. It also refers to an individual who received parole terms and stopped communicating with their parole officer. In some cases, absconding can refer to escaping from prison.
Absconding is a serious offense with severe penalties. Avoiding the situation could lead to a worse outcome for you. So, it’s important to understand the laws and conditions that relate to absconding. That way, you can figure out what steps are best to take next for your situation.
What is Absconding?
As mentioned, absconding means running away from your probation, parole, or incarceration term. If an individual hasn’t communicated with their probation officer within 90 days of their last contact and the system officially files them as having unknown whereabouts, they’re an absconder. The probationer doesn’t qualify as an absconder anymore once they return to probation either voluntarily or involuntarily.
What is an Absconder Warrant?
An absconder warrant gives any law enforcement agency the right to arrest someone who has failed to report to their parole or probation meetings. This means that, even if the absconder is pulled over for accidentally running a stop sign, the officer may arrest them. Many times, law enforcement arrests absconders within a short amount of time after the legal system issues an absconder warrant.
A person can abscond from either parole or probation (or both). A person on probation is serving the sentence that the court gave them, sometimes in addition to jailtime. The legal system releases the parolee from prison, and they’re given a set of conditions to follow. In either case, failing to report to the probation or parole officer makes you an absconder.
Conditions of Parole
After someone serves a prison sentence, they’re eligible for conditional freedom through parole. If the system grants them release on parole, they’re no longer behind bars but still have to uphold certain responsibilities. These conditions are a way to track the parolee’s progress after their incarceration. Breaking parole conditions can get you sent back to prison. Here are some common parole obligations:
- Living in a specific place
- Not leaving the area without permission
- Reporting regularly to an assigned parole officer
- Letting the officer know when employment status changes
- Agreeing to searches of your home
- Abiding by the law
- Not owning weapons
What does it Mean to be an Absconder from Parole?
Parole officers make regular office appointments and check-ins as a way to make sure their parolees are complying with these obligations. An absconder from parole stops staying in contact with the officer or court. They might ditch a meeting and stop answering phone calls altogether.
If the parolee goes missing, it’s unlikely that their parole officer will be able to help the police find them. If the parolee gets into legal trouble for any reason, the police can arrest them and potentially revoke their parole. This could mean they return to prison, but if they aren’t caught immediately, they could remain free for a while.
Absconding from Probation
What happens when you absconded from probation? Many people fail to abide by their probation terms, but this can lead to serious consequences. In addition to absconding by falling out of contact with your probation officer, other violations include (but are not limited to):
- Not appearing at a scheduled court date
- Using, selling, or possessing illegal substances
- Failing to pay court fees
- Traveling without permission from your probation officer
Being arrested for a different crime can also qualify as violating probation. If you break these rules, the consequences will depend on what your probation officer decides, how serious the violation is, and whether or not it’s your first offense. You might get off with a warning that says a future issue can lead to more serious consequences. In other cases, the officer might suggest that the court revoke your probation.
Revocation of Probation
What happens if you run away from probation? If your probation officer considers your violation severe, their department may petition the court to revoke your probation. You would receive a summons before the arraignment instructing you to appear in court. The judge would review your violations at the hearing and determine whether you committed a true violation. The most severe penalty you can receive is revocation of your probation.
If you’re serving multiple probationary terms at once, the court might order you to serve them consecutively. If your probation included a year in jail, the judge may require you to serve an additional term at some point or take away your probation and have you serve the same amount of time. If you think the court revoked your probation unfairly, your lawyer can help you appeal.
Inmate with “Abscond Status”
What does it mean to be an inmate with abscond status? You may get this label (and an escape felony) if you were incarcerated, escaped, and captured. An individual has committed escape in the first degree if they intentionally escaped or tried to escape from a correctional facility. Attempting to escape is also a crime in the United States, though it isn’t in a few other countries.
Punishment for the Class 4 Felony charge of escape in the first degree will run consecutively to existing sentences. Penalties might include imprisonment, parole, and probation.
Need Help with a Probation or Parole Violation in Arizona?
If you’ve violated the conditions or your parole or probation, an experienced criminal defense attorney can help answer your questions. This type of mark on your record can severely impact your future in a negative way. These violations are serious according to the law, so having an attorney on your side is a good idea for obtaining the best outcome.
A criminal defense lawyer will know how to handle your case based on their experience. They can give you some ideas for what steps to take next to try to dissolve the situation with the prosecutor or probation officer.
Call the JacksonWhite Criminal Law team at (480) 467-4370 to discuss your case today.