Strickland Webster, LLC: Your Parole Lawyers in Georgia
How Does the Parole Process Work in Georgia?
The Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles controls the parole process, deciding if an inmate is eligible for parole and finding reasonable conditions. After serving a third of their confinement period, most inmates become statutorily qualified for parole.
To grant release, the parole board requires an approval vote by most of its members. During consideration, the board sets up a Tentative Parole Month (TPM).
At the TPM, the board may vote on whether to grant parole in the future or deny it entirely. The panel may also reconsider changing the former case decision at any time before the date of parole due to specific reasons. Despite inmates being eligible for parole in Georgia, they have no right to demand release on parole.
TPMs are not final release decisions. The board will review the offender’s case file at the TPM to determine whether to release the offender on parole.
In Georgia, most inmates are statutorily eligible for parole only after serving a third of their confinement. It should be noted that not all eligible inmates get parole on their initial eligibility date. The following sentences are eligible for parole consideration:
- Misdemeanor sentences
- Felony sentences except in violent severe felonies and where the person serves time for a fourth, fifth, or sixth felony.
The board considers an inmate for a parole hearing after verifying the following:
- Confirming an inmates residence plan;
- Verify an offender’s request for out-of-state;
- Verify if an offender has a detainer with the Department of Corrections;
- Offender’s performance in an incentive credit program.
Who Is Not Eligible for Parole Consideration in Georgia?
Georgia state law requires the following offenders to serve their entire sentence without eligibility for parole:
- Persons convicted of serious violent crimes, which include murder, voluntary manslaughter, DUI homicide, statutory rape, cruelty to children, incest, first-degree arson, armed robbery, kidnapping, aggravated child molestation, drug trafficking, aggravated sodomy, and aggravated sexual battery.
- Persons convicted for a second time with a severe violent felony will receive a life sentence without parole.
- An individual convicted of a fourth and subsequent felony.
- People sentenced to life imprisonment without parole.
Additionally, the Georgia Constitution grants the parole board jurisdiction to review for parole any individual who is 62 years or older, regardless of the statute explicitly prohibiting the release.
What Role Does an Attorney Have in the Parole Process?
In the parole process, it is crucial to have the representation of a lawyer skilled in parole matters. A lawyer can examine your case and present reliable information to the board to ensure a fair hearing. Here are some examples of what your parole lawyer can do:
- Review your case files to rectify inaccurate information.
- Include positive information and reliable factors in your file.
- Request the parole board to reconsider your file.
- Investigate, organize, and present facts your criminal defense attorney may have missed before the board panel.
- Prepare a strategy to help you obtain parole.
- Give legal advice on the best course of action regarding parole considerations.
- Represent you at the parole hearing and work with the board panel to ensure that all relevant matters are placed before them for consideration.
- Negotiate for early release if appropriate conditions can be met.
At Strickland Webster, LLC, we understand the importance of parole hearings and how they can impact your future. Our experienced team will help you navigate the legal processes to ensure a fair hearing.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Does It Take the Parole Board to Make a Decision in Georgia?
It may take a parole board about six months to re-evaluate an inmate and decide. After the conclusion, an inmate receives an early release letter and a parole certificate approximately 14 days before release.
Can a Life Sentence Inmate Receive Parole in Georgia?
For a life sentence inmate to receive a parole grant, they must complete a Department of Corrections work release program as a requirement for parole. If the board denies them parole, by policy, they may reconsider the case at least once more every eight years.
What Is the Difference Between Parole and Probation?
A parole is an early release of a convict from prison before their maximum release date. In contrast, probation is a court sentence following a criminal case plea as an alternative to jail time. During probation, an offender remains out of jail under the supervision of a professional from the criminal justice system.