Coming up for parole can be a yearly process for an inmate. A parole hearing is a bite at a chance for release from incarceration. And if granted, an inmate can be freed. In Oklahoma, parole is defined as the conditional release of an offender who has served part of their prison term. The parole does not change the original sentence imposed but rather, suspends the sentence upon certain conditions being met. In Oklahoma, the process is overseen by the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board.
Qualifying For a Parole Hearing
Not every inmate is afforded the opportunity to qualify for parole. Offenders become eligible for parole at various stages of their incarceration depending upon the statute under which they were convicted. In general, for a crime committed on or after July 1, 1998, a person is eligible for parole consideration once that person has served 1/3 of their sentence. For some violent crimes committed after March 2000, an inmate must serve 85% of their sentence before becoming eligible for parole. For crimes committed before July 1, 1998, the rules are more complex. Okla. Stat. tit. 57§ 332.7.
What To Expect at the Parole Hearing
A parole hearing is the inmate’s opportunity to tell the Board why release would be appropriate. In preparation for the hearing, the Board will have examined the inmate’s prison record, the victim’s impact statement if one is submitted, all previous criminal convictions, the presence or absence of suitable employment and residence available, and whether an inmate has acquired a GED. Okla. Stat. tit. 57§§ 332.7, 332.8. These factors are weighed against issues of public and community safety and victims’ rights.
An inmate can expect that the Board may ask about any of these factors. The Board may ask whether the inmate feels remorse over their crime or how they imagine their victim or victims feel about the offense. The Board wants to know if an inmate has fully addressed this part of their life and is ready to be assimilated back into society.
In addition, victims and the prosecuting district attorney may appear and address the Board.
An attorney can both help the offender prepare for the hearing and speak for on the offender’s behalf at the hearing. Generally, there is a very limited period of time allowed for the offender or their representative to speak, approximately two minutes. It is important that those two minutes be used wisely.
Conditions For Parole
The Parole Board sets the conditions for a parolee’s release. There are standard conditions given to every parolee. In addition, the Parole Board may set any other conditions it deems appropriate and necessary. Some conditions are restrictions such as abstaining from drugs or alcohol. Other conditions impose mandatory duties on the parolee such as attendance at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, or counseling, if appropriate. If a parolee violates any condition of parole, that parolee could face additional sanctions such as being sent back to prison.
Having an experienced parole hearings attorney advocate on your behalf at your hearing can help the board understand your particular circumstances and the probability of successfully completing your parole period.
Possible Board Decisions
The Pardon and Parole Board may decide to: recommend parole for violent offenders to the Governor; grant parole for non-violent offenders; or deny parole.
Consult with Bartlesville Parole Hearings Attorney
You can be speaking with a Bartlesville, OK attorney or his staff within minutes. The Wirth Law Office – Bartlesville offers phone consultations with a Bartlesville parole hearings attorney or his paralegal by calling (918) 213-0950.
If you prefer written correspondence, email firstname.lastname@example.org or submit the “Ask an Attorney” form at the top right of this page. Additionally, you can contact us toll-free at (888) Wirth-Law (888-947-8452). Let’s see if this is the right fit for you.