WHAT IS PAROLE?
After being convicted of a crime, criminal defendants are typically sentenced to prison time. Once the criminal defendant fulfills their prison sentence, they are released. However, is it possible for a criminal defendant to get out of prison before their sentence expires?
Parole is a system that allows individuals who are serving prison time to be conditionally released prior to the conclusion of their sentence. Generally, to obtain parole, the crime with which the prisoner is convicted must allow for parole. Certain crimes that individuals are convicted in contain in their sentencing guidelines the prohibition of any chance of parole (typically very serious crimes like murder). If the crime which the defendant was convicted of allows parole, the prisoner must be able to meet certain requirements prior to being granted parole. If parole is granted, the prisoner is released from prison, but remains under the supervision of a parole officer until the end of their parole period. Additionally, while on parole, the prisoner must follow strict guidelines and restrictions regarding their freedom, movement, and actions.
Granting of Parole
In order to be granted parole, the prisoner must first be eligible for parole. Certain crimes that are violent or especially dangerous carry punishments that restrict or prohibit any parole before the sentence is completed. However, if a prisoner is eligible for parole, the prisoner will appear before a parole board to plead their case. After hearing the prisoner’s petition for parole, the parole board will review the prisoner’s case, prisoner file, and other information to make a decision. Generally, granting or denying parole is based on the subjective decision of the parole board, but the parole board may also consider the following factors:
- The seriousness of the crime and any applicable sentencing recommendations;
- Considerations or thoughts of the victim;
- The prisoner’s record and behavior in prison; or
- The prisoner’s rehabilitation and ability to reenter society;
Conditions of Parole
When a prisoner is granted parole, they are given early freedom from prison. However, this freedom comes with many restrictions and requirements. Typically, individuals who are granted parole must:
- Follow all laws;
- Have regular meetings with their parole officer;
- Obtain a job;
- Abstain from alcohol and/or any illegal drugs;
- Be subjected to regular (and unannounced) drug and alcohol testing;
- Regularly report their location or wear a GPS monitor; and
- Attend counseling or drug/alcohol treatment;
Although this is a starting point of some of the restrictions/requirements an individual must follow, it is far from being an exhaustive list. As such, each prisoner’s parole is different and subject to a variety of restrictions and requirements.
If you have been charged with a crime, it is important to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney that can help zealously defend your case. Contact Us at Minick Law, P.C. for a free consultation on your case.
James Minick is founder and C.E.O. of Minick Law, P.C. James is committed to providing top notch legal services through his team of highly specialized legal professionals. James will defend your rights.