If you or someone you know has been convicted of a crime in Ohio and sentenced to prison, they can file for early release from prison under Ohio Revised Code 2929.20. A central Ohio defense attorney can help you file for a Sentence Reduction Through Judicial Release and improve your chances of the court granting the request. 

How Soon Can I Apply for Early Judicial Release?

  • Sentences less than 2 years – 30 days from the first day of incarceration.
  • Sentences of 3-5 years – after 180 days of incarceration.
  • Sentences of 5 years – after 4 years from date of incarceration
  • Sentences of 5-10 years – after 5 years from date of incarceration
  • Sentences over ten years – after one-half of the sentence is served
  • Those convicted of violent crimes or serving a life sentence are not eligible for EJR. 

What Are the Requirements for Early Judicial Release?

Just because an EJR request is submitted, doesn’t mean it will be granted. There are guidelines and timeframes that must be met for each type of case and sentence. An experienced criminal defense firm can help you navigate the timelines and submissions.

Key factors to improving the chance of EJR being granted. 

  • Good behavior – While it may be a challenge to maintain good behavior while incarcerated, good behavior can play a key role in the granting of an EJR request. If there is a record of fighting, theft, or other problems while serving jail or prison time, it is unlikely the EJR will be approved.
  • Personal Improvement – It is important that a defense firm demonstrates the inmate has made an effort to improve during their incarceration. The convicted must do more than simply say they’ve changed. They will have to explain what caused them to change and how they see things now compared to before incarceration. An attorney can collect and submit letters from family and friends who can identify improvements as well. 
  • Outside Support – The courts will not release a convicted person into a situation where the risk of breaking the law is likely. A qualified defense team can put crucial documentation together –  lending validity to where and how the released will live and who will surrounded them, and what type of work, counseling or other interventions they will utilize to keep them “on track” for success in living a lawful life

What Happens Following Early Release?

Once Early Release is granted, it is important to remember that the sentence is not yet complete. The terms of probation or a suspended sentence are strict and the probation office plays a key role in determining if you are meeting the requirements of release. 

  • The convicted will be subject to the same probation terms as those under community control or post-release supervision.
  • Any or multiple violations will return the convicted to custody until a statement of violations is completed.
  • If re-release is possible, the defendant may have to post bond until the violation hearing is held. 
  • If you are violated, you have the right to a hearing on those violations and the right to be represented by an attorney at that hearing. 
  • Anything your probation officer observes and anything you say to them can and will be used against you in a violation hearing. 
  • If a violation is determined, sentencing will occur immediately. Additionally, the court will take your prior record into consideration during sentencing. 

If you or a loved one received a prison term, you may be able to apply for early or judicial release.  

If you are interested in applying for early release, it is important to contact a qualified Ohio criminal defense attorney with questions. An experienced criminal defense firm with a history of success will help you prepare not only the paperwork for EJR submission, but also prepare your loved one for the best chance of obtaining and maintaining the release. 

Call an experienced Central Ohio criminal defense attorney who is ready to defend your rights today!

Sources:

www.findlaw.com, ORC: https://codes.ohio.gov, NOLO