Probation, Pardon and Parole in Columbia, SC

Carolina Defense Lawyers is firmly committed to helping preserve the rights of people who have already been convicted of crimes in Columbia. In addition to advising you about issues of probation, pardon, and parole, we can defend you against alleged parole violations, help you apply for a pardon, and prepare you for parole hearings.

  1. Obtaining Parole in South Carolina 
  2. What Happens If You Violate Parole in South Carolina?
  3. How Do You Apply for a Pardon in South Carolina?
  4. How Can Our Attorneys Help?

Obtaining Parole in South Carolina 

Parole is a form of early release from prison based on the prisoner’s agreement to abide by certain conditions of supervision during the remainder of the sentence. It is granted by the by the SC Department of Probation, Parole, and Pardon Services DPPS).  

You do NOT have to hire an attorney for a parole hearing. However, if you do hire Carolina Defense Lawyers, we are committed to helping you present clear and persuasive reasons for why your request for parole should be granted. If released on parole, you must comply with the terms and conditions set by the parole board, including the following: 

  • Community service
  • Counseling
  • Fines and restitution
  • Reporting to a probation officer
  • Restrictions on drugs, alcohol, and weapons

While on parole, you have to show reasonable promise of being able to function in society as a responsible, self-reliant person.

What Happens If You Violate Parole in South Carolina?  

If your probation agent believes you have violated a condition of your probationary sentence, the agent may seek a warrant for your arrest. If you are arrested for a probation violation, a bond is set and a hearing is scheduled in the general sessions court. At the hearing, the presiding judge determines whether to continue, partially revoke, revoke in full, or terminate your probationary sentence. In other words, the judge will decide whether or not to send you back to prison.

You are entitled to be defended by an attorney at your probation violation hearing. You can either admit or deny the alleged violation(s) at the hearing. If you decide to fight the allegation(s), you may request a full hearing where you can cross-examine the witnesses against you, call witnesses in your defense, and present evidence favorable to your case. 

If you admit the allegation(s) are true, you can present mitigating evidence in hopes of persuading the judge to continue your probationary sentence or to reduce its revocation.

How Do You Apply for a Pardon in South Carolina? 

A pardon forgives all the legal consequences – direct and collateral – of a conviction. You can apply for a pardon if you fall into one of the following categories: 

  • You have completed your sentence 
  • You have been on parole for at least 5 years 
  • You are in prison, but have an extraordinary situation (e.g., you have less than one year to live)

Pardons are granted by the by the SC Department of Probation, Parole, and Pardon Services (DPPS). The pardon application has three components: 

  • Written letters of support: Must be written by persons who are not related to you by birth or marriage (e.g., an employer, religious leader, or person of high standing within the community)
  • Information from the applicant: include your specific reason for requesting a pardon (e.g., a desire to further your education or career)
  • Application fee: a $100 non-refundable fee

It generally takes seven to nine months before a hearing is scheduled. You will appear before the Board of Paroles and Pardons in Columbia, South Carolina, and present your case. If at least two-thirds of the members of the board sign an order of pardon, the director will issue a pardon certificate, restoring all civil rights lost due to the conviction. 

Please note that a pardon will not be granted until all restitution (compensation for injury or loss) is paid in full.

How Can Our Attorneys Help? 

You do NOT have to hire an attorney to apply for a pardon. However, the process of filing an application for probation, parole, and pardons can be confusing and time-consuming. An attorney can file the application for you to ensure that it is done properly. 

Carolina Defense Lawyers provides prompt and personalized service with an emphasis on communication about your case. We are familiar with the intricacies of probation, parole, and pardon laws in SC, and can help you navigate the difficult application and process and hearings.

Contact Carolina Defense Lawyers to discuss your eligibility during a free and confidential consultation.

DISCLAIMER: Any results achieved on behalf of a client in one matter do not necessarily indicate that similar results can be obtained for other clients. 

South Carolina Probation, Parole, and Pardon Statutes 

For more information about SC criminal domestic violence statutes, please refer directly to the South Carolina Code of Laws 

24-21-10.Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services; Board of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services; board members; term; appointment; filing vacancies

24-21-30.Meetings; parole and pardon panels

24-21-32.Reentry supervision; revocation.

24-21-50.Hearings, arguments, and appearances by counsel or individuals.

24-21-280.Duties and powers of probation agents; authority to enforce criminal laws.

24-21-300.Issuance of citation to a person released pursuant to Offender Management Systems Act for violation of release terms.

24-21-410.Power to suspend sentence and impose probation; exceptions; search and seizure.

24-21-430.Conditions of probation.

24-21-450.Arrest for violation of terms of probation; bond.

24-21-460.Action of court in case of violation of terms of probation.

24-21-550.Probation terms involving fines, costs, assessments, or restitution.

24-21-610.Eligibility for parole.

24-21-620.Review by Board of prisoner’s case after the prisoner has served one-fourth of sentence.

24-21-630.Effect of time served while awaiting trial upon determination of time required to be served for eligibility for parole.

24-21-640.Circumstances warranting parole; search and seizure; criteria; reports of parolees; records subject to Freedom of Information Act.

24-21-650.Order of parole.

24-21-670.Term of parole.

24-21-680.Violation of parole.