The short answer to your questions about whether you need an experienced parole attorney now is yes. You can’t represent yourself to the members of the parole board and completing the parole application is a complex task. Because an experienced parole attorney has the skills you need to present all the relevant details of your case to the parole board, he can make the difference you need.
What Does the Parole Board Consider Before Granting Parole?
Members of the parole board use a variety of risk assessment methods to consider the offender’s potential risk to the public. They will scrutinize your prior criminal record and static facts, such as:
Your age when first admitted to juvenile or adult corrections
Any previous supervisory release revocations for felony crimes
Your work history
Any previous jail or prison sentences served
Your current offense and sentence
The members of the board will then compare your dynamic factors, including:
Your age now
If you’re a gang member or affiliated with a confirmed “security threat” group
If you completed certified vocational, educational, or other job training programs while in prison
Your prison conduct record
Your present custody level
How to Prepare for a Meeting with a Parole Attorney
Prepare to discuss yourself. Tell the parole lawyer about your family, educational, and social histories, including your criminal record, prior probations, previous incarcerations, previous parole periods, or any prior parole or probation problems and revocations you've experienced in the past:
Tell your parole lawyer about the offense for which you're serving time now. Share the facts of the case, victims, persons involved, including co-defendants. Summarize this information in written form to make the best use of your time with the parole attorney.
Recap what happened at your trial, including plea offer negotiations prior to trial. Let your parole lawyer know how you've adjusted to prison. Tell him about your disciplinary history, custody levels, unit assignments, classifications, and job assignments.
Plan to discuss any obstacles to parole, including a victim or trial official protest. The district attorney of the county in which the conviction occurred, the sheriff of the convicting county, or the judge in which the conviction happened are trial officials.
Prepare a review strategy for parole. Since your case is unique, the parole lawyer must carefully review the circumstances and specifics of the case. The parole lawyer will then ask to meet with the lead voter in the parole panel.
Although the parole board is not bound to grant the request, many voters agree to a telephone or face-to-face meeting with the parole lawyer. In some cases, one or more family members may be permitted to attend the meeting with the parole lawyer. Since family members at the meeting may be viewed as positively by the voting member, your parole lawyer will do everything possible to make the meeting happen.
How an Attorney Can Help with Parole
After the parole board schedules your hearing, you need an experienced parole attorney to represent you at the hearing. Some parole board members travel throughout the state to conduct parole hearings. Realize that the board is unlikely to grant parole to anyone without a good reason and unless they know the following are certain:
A member of your family will provide a place for you to live if you’re granted parole. Your parole attorney will explain your parole plan to the board. This includes where you’ll live. The parole board won’t view your plan to live with a casual partner or friend as solid as plans to live with a family member.
You’ve demonstrated good conduct in prison. The board needs to know that you’re able to follow the rules and laws of the community. They want to know you’re productive. To that end, they need to know how you’ll support yourself on parole.
You’ve improved yourself in prison. If you received a GED in jail, got a job or vocational training, your parole lawyer will communicate this positive news to the board.
Hire an Experienced Parole Attorney to Improve Your Chances
If your parole hearing is coming up, an experienced parole lawyer can help. He knows how the parole system works. Remember that parole isn’t guaranteed and it’s not a right. It’s a privilege to be granted parole. A knowledgeable parole lawyer at your side can make a difference in your case outcome.
About the Author
The Law Office of Greg Tsioros provides legal advice and aggressive representation for clients that are eligible for parole. Mr. Tsioros handles parole cases of any stature – from review and application to revocation.