When a person is convicted of a crime, the judge will order a sentence to fit their crime, based on the statute and the severity of the crime. If this sentence includes a period of incarceration, the judge will usually set a period of time after which a person will be eligible for a release on parole. Parole is a release from incarceration, provided that the defendant adheres to terms that are set by the court. This includes monitoring from a parole officer, testing for drugs, and assigned programming from the court. Violations of these terms may have a person placed back into incarceration. For sentences that last a term of fewer than 24 months, parole and incarceration negotiations are handled with the county. In Lehigh County, parole is negotiated with the Adult Parole Division of the Lehigh County Court of Common Pleas.
Early Parole Requests in Lehigh County
Although the court sets a time when a defendant is automatically eligible for parole, at times, it is possible for a defendant to request an early parole release. Requests may be submitted at any time after a person has been taken into incarceration. When a request is filed for early parole, a judge will consider the following:
- Any threat the defendant may pose to the community
- The initial crime the defendant was convicted of
- Arguments made during the sentencing hearing
- A defendant's overall behavior and record during incarceration
- A defendant's presentation of their argument and evidence for release
Hearings for Early Parole in Lehigh County
Before a hearing can be held, the defendant will have to properly file a motion for an early parole release. If the filing is successful, Lehigh County will assemble a board for review of the defendant's case. This board may include the judge from the initial case and a few other members. These hearings for parole release will be interview based, however, defendants will still be expected to defend their case. Defendants must present a valid argument and supporting evidence for their early release. After the argument has been heard, the board will vote on a decision.
While a defendant will usually receive parole after the specific time frame has passed, filing early can significantly reduce the time spent in incarceration. While a defendant is able to file this motion on their own, the services of an attorney can help the paperwork move through the court system more quickly. In addition to this, when it comes time for a hearing, an attorney can help a defendant prepare for their hearing and help them present evidence and arguments in favor of their release.
If you or a loved one is seeking an early parole release in Lehigh County, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.