Understanding the Georgia Parole Process
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Delve deep into the Georgia parole process with this exhaustive guide by Philip Kim Law, P.C. Understand eligibility, procedures, and how our attorneys can assist you. Call us today.
Author: Philip Kim, Founder, Philip Kim Law, P.C.
Defense lawyer Philip Kim has committed his career to standing up for the accused, and protecting the rights and reputations of his valued clients. If you face criminal charges in Georgia, we can provide you with the skilled, effective defense representation you need.
Published on January 9, 2020, last updated on December 08, 2023.
Parole Process in Georgia
Have you or your loved one been charged with an offense in Georgia? Is there a possibility of you receiving a lengthy prison sentence if convicted of the offense? You may not have to complete your sentence if you are granted parole before the end of your sentence.
It can benefit you to know the parole process and whether or not you may be eligible for it. Being informed about the legal aspects of parole can help you understand what to expect during your prison sentence. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys at Philip Kim Law, P.C., are willing to guide you on how parole laws affect you if convicted of a crime and help you understand the parole process.
What Is Parole?
Parole is a supervised early release from prison granted to an offender before the completion of their prison sentence. It enables offenders to serve the remaining period of their sentence outside the prison while under supervision.
Specific conditions are also attached to a grant of parole. If you violate these conditions or terms after securing parole, you risk being sent back to prison to complete your sentence.
It is also worth noting that parole is distinct from probation; unlike parole, which a Board grants, probation is an order of the court. While parole is granted after an offender has served a part of their sentence, probation is ordered at the point of an offender’s sentencing.
Also, note that there are consequences attached to both parole violation and probation violation in Georgia.
The Steps in Georgia’s Parole Process
Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles is saddled with the responsibility of granting or denying an offender parole after serving a significant amount of their sentence. It is essential that you know the eligibility criteria for parole and the steps involved in the parole process.
Generally, offenders are statutorily eligible for parole upon serving one-third of their sentence unless they have been convicted of certain felonies. Your eligibility for parole may depend on the type of offense you are convicted for and the portion of time served in your sentence.
There are, however, certain inmates who are not eligible for parole. Such individuals are required by law to complete their entire sentence. This category of inmates includes the following:
Inmates serving a non-life sentence for serious violent crimes on or after January 1, 1995. These felonies are rape, kidnapping, aggravated child molestation, armed robbery, aggravated sexual battery, and aggravated sodomy.
Inmates convicted of a fourth felony or more and sentenced as recidivists.
Inmates who are serving life sentences without parole.
Serving a life sentence does not automatically preclude you from being granted parole. You may be eligible for parole consideration while serving a life sentence for a crime categorized as one of the seven deadly sins if:
Your offense was committed before 1995, and you have served seven years of your sentence.
Your offense was committed between 1995 and July 1, 2006, and you have served 14 years of your sentence.
Your offense was committed after July 1, 2006, and you have served 30 years of your sentence.
If your parole is denied while serving a life sentence, the Board will reconsider parole for you again at least once every eight years. In situations where the Parole Board receives new information that warrants an earlier review, they may expedite your parole review.
How the Parole Process Works
It is not necessary to apply for parole while serving your sentence. You will be automatically considered for parole if you meet the eligibility criteria. However, it would be in your best interests if you were aware of the process involved in parole consideration.
Since the Georgia parole process is an open public process, the registered victims of your crime are notified when the Parole Board wants to consider you for parole. The Board notifies the district attorney and the judge to request information on your case so that the victims, prosecutors, and the public may send the Board correspondence about your case.
There are three persons/bodies involved in the parole process, including the following:
Parole Investigator: When you become eligible for parole, a parole investigator initiates the process by conducting investigations. The information collected during these investigations is used to create a file on you. The investigator then studies your arrest and court records and interviews the arresting officers, witnesses, and victims to form a legal investigation report. This report contains the offenses you were convicted of in the past and the current offense.
The investigator will also complete your personal history statement questionnaire by interviewing you. This statement contains your account of the offense, your place of residence and workplace, as well as where you plan to live and work if released.
Hearing Examiner: Upon completion of the investigation by the parole investigator, a hearing examiner takes over your case. The hearing examiner, using the Parole Decision Guidelines, will recommend if and when to grant you parole, taking into consideration the severity of your offense and your risk of committing more offenses if released.
The Parole Board: The role of the Parole Board is to grant or deny you parole. Note that before the Board makes a final decision, they also review your parole review summary from the Department of Corrections. The review summary includes your behavior, emotional and mental condition, and participation in self-improvement activities.
If the prevailing decision is granting you parole, the Board will set a tentative parole month.
Philip Kim Law, P.C. Can Help You!
Being sentenced for a crime does not automatically mean that you must complete the entire duration of the sentence. At Philip Kim Law, P.C., our experienced attorneys are skilled in building personalized, robust defense strategies for each client.
We can help you build a strong defense strategy if you are charged with an offense. If you are already serving sentences, we can efficiently help you navigate the nuances of parole and give you continuous support throughout the parole process.
Contact us and schedule a free consultation with us today!