If you are lucky enough to be looking at possible parole in Oklahoma, you want to know what to expect and how to make the most out of the opportunity. Parole means being conditionally released from prison for the remainder of your sentence. For many inmates, parole hearings come around once a year once you qualify for a hearing. Here are some things that you may want to know about parole and parole hearings in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
How to Qualify For A Parole Hearing
Qualifying for a parole hearing is a matter of time. If you are a non-violent offender, you must serve 1/3 of your sentence before you will qualify for a parole hearing. If you are a violent offender, you must serve 85% of your sentence before you will qualify. Once you qualify, the hearing date is set. In Oklahoma, parole hearings take place before the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board. The hearing is to determine the offender’s readiness to be reintegrated into society.
The Parole Process in Oklahoma
In Oklahoma, parole can be thought of as a two-step process. The parole board first examines the inmate’s record. In doing so, it may look at such things as:
- the inmate’s behavior since incarceration;
- the nature of the underlying offense;
- other criminal convictions;
- the presence or absence of a substance abuse history;
- victim impact statements;
- whether there is a history of violence;
- work history;
- the inmate’s mental and physical health;
- their needs if released;
- the inmate’s educational level and work prospects; and
- the inmate’s parole plan if released.
All of these factors are weighed when determining the amount of risk that release poses. At the hearing itself it is important to know that while the district attorney has an unlimited amount of time in which to address the board, the inmate’s time is severely limited. An inmate only has two minutes in which to address the board.
During that two minutes, the inmate must convince the board that they pose no real risk to the community, that they are sorry for their actions, that they accept responsibility for the crime, and that they have a good parole plan in place that will ensure that they are a successful parolee who will not re-offend.
How An Attorney Can Help At Parole Hearings
It is a lot of ground to cover in a very short period of time. It is highly recommended that you have a Stillwater OK attorney speak on your behalf to the board. An experienced Stillwater parole hearings attorney will know what the board needs to hear and can present it clearly and persuasively within the time frame available.
Your attorney will also be able to address particular parts of your parole plan that may influence the board’s decision. For example, if it is clear that you will need to attend a substance abuse treatment program if released, your attorney can let the board know about what treatment plan you will be attending and that program’s strengths. If you need to get a GED as part of the parole plan, your attorney can let the board know exactly how you will go about doing this.
Parole hearings attorneys are experts in addressing the parole board. They know how to address each issue in a succinct manner. You want to get this one right the first time. If parole is denied, you may have to wait another year before being reconsidered.
Free Consultation With A Stillwater Parole Hearings Attorney
A Stillwater attorney for parole hearings who can assess your legal matters is just a phone call away. Your first phone consultation is always free at Wirth Law Office in Stillwater: 405-673-1600.
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Whatever your legal needs, an assistant can direct you to a Stillwater OK attorney or to Oklahoma attorneys in another location. Try Wirth Law Office first to save time and be connected with the best Stillwater lawyers to handle your matter.