Cincinnati Ohio Judicial Release
Going to jail is not an easy pill to swallow. The time you will serve depends on the judge and the nature of your crime. But if you or a loved one is currently incarcerated, the law allows for you to petition the court for an early release through what is known as “judicial release.”
Experienced Cincinnati Attorneys Can Help Petition For Your Early Release From Prison
Because judicial release is a legal filing that must be granted by a judge, hiring an experienced Ohio attorney to handle this matter is highly recommended. Additionally, several exceptions and qualifications in the law affect whether your judicial release will be granted. Critically, the law in Ohio says that if you petition for judicial release and it is denied, you cannot appeal that decision.
As a result, it is vital that you get it right when you petition for judicial release, and speaking with an attorney at Joslyn Criminal Defense Law Firm will give you the best chance of getting your petition granted. For a free consultation, call our judicial relief attorneys at (513) 399-6289.
- Understanding Ohio Judicial Release
- Eligibility Requirements For Judicial Release
- Judicial Release Considerations
- Most Common Errors And Misconceptions About Judicial Release
- Applying For Judicial Release In Ohio: Procedures And Requirements
- Processing Timeline For Ohio Judicial Release Application
- Appeals, Denials, and Re-Application For Judicial Release
- The Benefits Of Hiring An Ohio Judicial Release Attorney From Joslyn Criminal Defense Law Firm
Judicial release is a way for you to ask the sentencing court to allow you to be released early from prison after you have served a portion of your original sentence. Judicial release is not an appeal, and it is not a mechanism in which you can claim that your original sentence was incorrect or illegal. When you ask for judicial release, you request that the court let you out of jail early because you believe that you have learned your lesson and that the goals of incarceration have been met. Still, it is essential to understand that you do not have a right to judicial release and that you are asking the court to grant a request at the sentencing judge’s discretion.
The judge will look at several factors in considering your request. A few of them are:
- Your original sentence
- How much of the original sentence you have completed
- The court that issued your sentence
- The crimes that you were sentenced for
- Mandatory minimums associated with your sentence
- Previous petitions for judicial release
A petition for judicial release must be in writing and submitted to the sentencing court. It is important to understand that not all sentences are eligible for judicial release. A judge will then review the petition to see if there is a basis for granting a hearing on the matter. If you are granted a hearing, then the prosecutor, victim, and your attorney will all be able to make arguments for and against your release. If your petition is granted, you will be released on what is known as community control. Community control is similar to parole or probation, where you must abide by certain restrictions until the court releases you completely.
Applying for judicial release is often a one-shot deal. This means that if you apply for judicial release and are denied, you may not get another chance. It is crucial that you make sure that you are eligible for judicial release before you apply. While it is true that sentencing judges have discretion in granting a petition for judicial release, they are not allowed to do so if Ohio law says that you are ineligible based on your offense or your sentence.
You may only request judicial release if all of the following are true:
- You received your sentence in Ohio – out-of-state and federal sentences are not eligible.
- Your sentence was non-mandatory.
- You were not convicted of a crime related to or while you held public office.
- Your request was filed on time.
Whether your petition for judicial release is on time depends on the length of your total sentence. If you are serving a non-mandatory sentence, you must complete a certain amount of your sentence before you can petition for judicial release. The requirements are:
- For sentences more than ten years – You must serve half of your sentence
- For sentences more than five years but not more than ten – You must serve five years
- For sentences precisely five years – You must serve four years
- For sentences between two and five years – You must serve 180 days
- For sentences less than two years – You can file at any time after you begin your sentence
If you have received a sentence with a mandatory minimum, you must at least serve that amount before requesting a judicial release. It is recommended that you consult with an experienced judicial release attorney before filing your petition.
Additionally, your petition for judicial release may be granted during your sentence if you meet certain special requirements. These requirements are different from the general eligibility requirements for judicial release and will only be granted if you meet all of the following requirements:
- You are not serving a life sentence
- You do not pose a risk to the public
- You have been deemed in imminent danger of death, medically incapacitated, or are suffering from a terminal illness
After you file your petition for judicial release, the court must accept your filing before it will decide on your request. Once it has been accepted, the sentencing judge will look at a variety of factors before deciding. These factors may include some of the original considerations looked at when you received your sentence, which is derived from Ohio’s Criminal Seriousness and Recidivism Statute. Some of those factors are listed below:
- Your adult and juvenile criminal records
- Your age
- Whether you were provoked when you committed your crime
- The relationship between you and the victim
- Whether the victim opposes your release
- The age of the victim
- Your status at the time of the crime (community control, probation, parole)
- Whether you have shown remorse
- Whether you acted with intent
The judge reviewing your petition for judicial release must also consider the arguments of the prosecutor and the victim concerning your request. If they oppose you being released, the judge may allow them to be heard. In doing so, the judge must consider:
- The victim’s impact statement,
- Your prison summary report (behavioral violations, activities, and educational training while in prison),
- And any written statements from a party detailing the effects of your crime and whether you should be released. These statements may be submitted by community members and family members of the victim.
Because those who are currently serving a prison sentence are itching to be released, they may believe that they are eligible to receive judicial release when they are not. Requesting a judicial release when you are not eligible may prevent you from filing one later and may hurt your chances of getting one granted when you do become eligible. That is why it is recommended that you consult with an experienced judicial release attorney before you file your request. You should never file a petition for judicial release unless you are sure you meet the eligibility requirements.
Some of the more common misconceptions surrounding judicial release are:
- Filing for medical or imminent danger judicial release without certification from the Ohio Department of Corrections.
- Requesting judicial release from a court that did not sentence you or that does not have the authority to grant your petition.
- Requesting judicial release without first serving the mandatory minimum sentence.
- Filing for judicial release when you are clearly ineligible under the statute.
Only an experienced judicial release attorney will be able to give you the proper guidance and advice on how and when to file your petition. Again, if your petition is denied, you will not have an opportunity to appeal it.
If you are eligible for judicial release, you will need to file your application with the clerk of the court in the Ohio county where you were convicted. Your petition will need to include specific things to be properly completed, and a copy must be sent to the prosecutor. Depending on the court, there may also be formatting and mailing requirements that must be met. While there may be templates online or provided by your local public defender, it is recommended that you have your petition completed and filed by an experienced judicial release attorney.
As with any request made in a court of law, you will want to be sure to include things that will give you the best chance of getting the request granted. In the case of a judicial release, that means describing why you believe that your request should be granted and why you deserve a judicial release. Some examples of what you may want to highlight in your request are:
- Changes that you have made in your life while in prison
- How your imprisonment is affecting your family
- Evidence of contrition or remorse for your crimes (letters of apology, restitution to victim, guilty plea)
- Your clean record before your conviction
- Your behavioral record while in prison
- That the crime you were convicted of was non-violent
When you ask for judicial release, you request that the judge modify your original sentence. You will not be able to convince the judge that your original sentence was inappropriate. Instead, you must show the changes you have made since the original sentence was imposed, thereby asking the judge to change it based on what you have done since you were convicted.
From start to finish, a petition for judicial release may take months. Still, the law requires that the judge has a certain number of days in which to decide on your request. Once your petition has been filed, the judge has 60 days to grant a hearing or deny the petition outright. If you are granted a hearing, it must be held within 180 days of your filing. The judge then has ten days from the hearing date to decide. If the petition is granted, you will be released, and your remaining sentence will be suspended.
Judicial release requests can be denied before or after a hearing. What is important to remember is that if the judge determines that you are ineligible, then your petition will likely be denied before you get a chance to have a hearing. If this happens, your denial may be with or without prejudice. If it is denied with prejudice, you cannot file another judicial release in the future. If it is denied without prejudice, you may be able to re-file the petition. Critically, if the petition is denied and there is no mention of with or without prejudice, then that means it was denied without prejudice.
For judicial release petitions that are granted a hearing and subsequently denied, they are always done with prejudice, meaning that you will not be able to file another petition in the future. Because of the importance of this petition, you should always consult with an experienced judicial release attorney before you file.
The attorneys at Joslyn Criminal Defense Law Firm understand that we all make mistakes. They also appreciate that serving jail time is not the end of the road. That is why it is essential to ensure that you have someone on your side who will protect your rights and fight to ensure that you are provided with every possible avenue for relief. Having an experienced judicial release attorney go over your case and help prepare your petition is crucial to ensuring that you get the best chance at a favorable outcome. Contact Joslyn Criminal Defense Law Firm today to schedule your free case review by calling (513) 399-6289 or online.