If you or a loved one who is incarcerated and is nearing eligibility for parole or you believe should be pardoned, there is a lot that you need to know to assist them with these processes. At Maxwell Tillman - Trial Lawyers, we’re experts in criminal law and can help you prepare a case for your loved one. To get started, we have some items that we recommend being knowledgeable in while preparing for Alabama pardons and parole hearings.
How does parole work?
When an inmate is released from prison on parole, they’re allowed to leave based on certain rules and restrictions. This is a conditional release that makes an inmate eligible to serve some or part of their remaining sentence under the supervision of a parole officer. If these rules are violated, the inmate could be rearrested and sent back to prison to serve some or all the remaining time on their sentence. This is called parole revocation.
When can a prisoner apply for parole?
The United States Department of Justice has determined that inmates are first eligible for parole after they’ve completed one-third of their prison sentence or 10 years time, whichever is less. However, individuals who have been convicted of violent and severe Class A felonies until they’ve served 85% of their sentence of 15 years.
The process for parole begins as early as sentencing. A parole eligibility date will be set and that is when an inmate will be able to be paroled. To be released on parole, an inmate must have a parole hearing. This is when a panel, or board, of individuals, decides if an inmate should be released from prison after serving their minimum sentence. When a parole hearing is conducted, the chairman and two members will vote to approve or deny paroles. Two of the three must vote in favor.
What’s the difference between parole and a pardon?
As established previously, parole is the early release of inmates based on an agreed-upon standard of living. In contrast, when a pardon is granted, an inmate is released from prison and the pardon is noted on their record. While the conviction will not be expunged, the pardon will be shown to demonstrate to any who perform a background check that the individual was released on more than parole.
It’s important to keep in mind that pardons are very rarely issued. In fact, most pardons are performed posthumously as an act of goodwill toward the individual’s heirs to demonstrate the righting of wrong within the justice system. Although, any individual can apply for a pardon after they have completed their sentence or after they have completed three consecutive years of parole. If there is a probationary period, this must be completed before they can apply for a pardon.
Contact us for a consultation
If you’d like to learn more about Alabama pardons and parole hearings, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Maxwell Tillman - Trial Lawyers. Our team of experts can help you prepare your loved one for a parole hearing or even a pardon if you believe they’re eligible. Reach out to our team by calling 205-216-3304 or send a message through our contact form. We look forward to representing you or your loved one during their parole hearing or application for a pardon.