How I Do Judicial Release
The only way to modify your sentence once the appeal process is over is through judicial release. You have to convince the judge to let you out early.
That’s going to take more work than just filing a motion which says little more than “let me out!” That’s the work I’m willing to do.
I’ll come down to visit you to help come up with a statement for the judge showing your remorse for the crime and how your prison stay has given you a better perspective on life.
I’ll work with your family to show the judge that you have a solid support system in place if you’re released from prison.
I’ll get summary of your time in the institution showing that you’ve obeyed the rules and taken advantage of job and educational opportunities.
And I’ll combine that with an analysis of the law about the principles and purposes of sentencing, and tell a persuasive story that you’ve learned your lesson and are now willing and able to become a law-abiding, productive member of society.
Convincing a judge who sentenced you to eight years in prison that you shouldn’t do the whole eight years is not a simple task. It takes persuasion, but it also takes preparation and knowing the right way to present an argument. I’ve done that for other clients. Let me see if I can do it for you.
How Judicial Release Works
To be eligible for judicial release, you must be serving a “non-mandatory sentence.” Certain crimes, such as rape, do carry mandatory sentences: you have to be sent to prison. Crimes where there is an indeterminate sentence, like 15 to life, also do not qualify for judicial release. And gun specifications are always mandatory.
The determination of when you can apply for judicial release depends upon the length of your non-mandatory sentence:
- If your non-mandatory sentence is less than two years, you can file at any time after you’ve been admitted to the institution. Note that jail-time credit doesn’t apply to this.
- If your non-mandatory sentence is at least two years but less than five years, you can file 180 days after you’ve been admitted to the institution. Again, jail-time credit doesn’t count.
- If the non-mandatory sentence is five years, you can file after serving four years. Note that jail-time credit does count here.
- If the non-mandatory sentence is more than five years but less than ten, you can file after serving five years. Again, jail-time credit counts.
- If the non-mandatory sentence is more than ten years, you can file after serving half of that time. Jail-time credit counts.
A couple of points. If you’ve been given consecutive sentences, then the non-mandatory time is the total of the sentences. If part of your sentence is mandatory – for example, it includes a gun specification – you have to serve the mandatory sentence first; only after you’re done serving that do you start to calculate your release date.
- You’re sentenced to nine months in prison for a drug case. You can file for judicial release as soon as you’re admitted to the institution.
- You’re sentenced to two years on a felonious assault charge, plus one year on a gun specification. Your non-mandatory time is two years. You’d have to serve the time on the gun specification first, then 180 days after you arrived at the institution before you could file. Note that this basically means that you can file 180 days after completion of the sentence for the gun specification.
- You’re sentenced to seven years on a felonious assault charge, and you spent six months in jail awaiting trial. You can file after five years, which includes both jail and prison time.
- You’re sentenced to 8 years for rape. That’s a mandatory sentence, and you’re not eligible for judicial release.