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How Is a Pardon Different From Parole in Alabama?
December 8, 2022 at 10:00 PM
How Is a Pardon Different From Parole in Alabama?

When you have been convicted of a felony and find yourself in jail, it doesn’t mean that you are out of luck. There are many different courses that can be navigated in the justice system, and it’s important that the lawyers of the convicted exhaust all avenues to maintain their client's best interests.

The three main ways to be released from prison in Alabama are: parole, pardon, or completing the sentence. It’s crucial to understand the difference between these options, because the differences affect a person's rights and freedom for the rest of their lives.

Pardons and Parole in Montgomery Alabama

Both pardons and parole end in a person being released from prison, but they are two very different releases. To fully complete your sentence, it’s critical to understand the legal differences between these two release statuses.

Parole in Montgomery, Alabama

When a person is on parole, they have been released back into the community under very strict conditions and with certain restrictions in place. Generally, standard conditions of parole include:

  • Reporting regularly to an assigned parole officer
  • Living within a clearly demarcated area, and not leaving that area without explicit written permission from the county or state
  • Keeping parole officers up to date on employment status, job changes, or firings
  • Not possessing any weapons, including firearms
  • Agreeing to carte blanche searches of their residence, possessions, or self by law enforcement
  • Not breaking the law

Beyond these universal conditions of parole, some formerly incarcerated people are subject to further conditions, including:

  • Entering treatment for drug or alcohol abuse
  • Submitting to random drug testing
  • Not contacting the victim of their crime or not associating with specific people
  • Wearing an electronic monitor
  • Attending counseling and/or anger management courses
  • Not gambling
  • Not accessing or viewing pornography or sexually explicit material
  • Not living within certain distances of places frequented by children, including schools, community centers, and churches.

Parole in Montgomery, Alabama exists to reintroduce formerly incarcerated people back into their communities in a safe, controlled way. The expectations for parolees are stringent and exist to hold the newly-released to a high standard of personal conduct. Once the parole board is satisfied that the parolee has served their parole time with good conduct and are ready to fully reintegrate, the parole period ends and the parolee is released (sometimes with lifelong conditions for their release).

State of Alabama Pardons in Montgomery

A pardon is not the same as parole. Parole is a status granted to an incarcerated person that replaces or supplements jail time. Pardons, on the other hand, can not only free an incarcerated person from jail time, but they also wipe the offender's record clean and frees them from any further penalty.

When a person is granted a pardon, their freedom is absolute. Unlike individuals on probation or parole, people who are pardoned have all of their civil rights restored unconditionally. Their records and convictions are expunged; it is as though they were found innocent of the crime that sent them to jail.

On the other hand, those who receive conditional pardons are only free for a specified period of time as they re-integrate with their community. If they fail to adhere to the prescribed conditions that their pardon demands, they can be re-incarcerated.

Finally, serving a complete sentence is the most straightforward way to be released from prison. You are incarcerated, serve your time, and are released either conditionally or unconditionally.

For those convicted of a crime in Alabama, pardons and parole in Montgomery are also options for release. When you need legal help with your trial or incarceration in Alabama, contact MX Law Firm for the best legal team in Montgomery.