Incarceration rates are at a record high and, unfortunately, many people
have loved ones and family members in jail, either serving sentences or
awaiting trial. While it may be impossible to have that person be home
for the holidays in some circumstances, for others,
filing a petition for early parole or to lift a detainer may help get that
person out of jail and back home.
Early parole petitions can be filed for someone who has already had a trial
and is serving a sentence. By fling a petition for early parole, the decision
as to when a prisoner will be released is taken out of the hands of the
prison officials and placed before a judge. When a person is sentenced
to a period of incarceration in Pennsylvania, that person receives a minimum
and maximum sentence.
For example, six to 23 months or two to five years. A person becomes eligible
for release at their “minimum term”, or the first number in
their sentence. However, prisoners are not automatically released at their
minimum date. In some cases, people can be released
before their minimum date. This is possible where a prisoner is entitled to “earned
time,” “good time,” or “credit for time served.”
The final say on when a person is released is ultimately decided by a judge,
but by filing a motion for early parole, a skilled attorney can place
the question of when an inmate is released before that judge much earlier
than it would be under the normal, slow, bureaucratic method. A motion
for early parole can be filed at any time after a person is sentenced
and is probably the best method for early release of an imprisoned person.
A motion to lift a detainer usually involves someone who is on probation
or parole and has potentially violated the rules of thier supervision.
This also includes people who get arrested for a new offense while they
are on probation or parole. While they are waiting for a trial on the
new matter, a “detainer” will often be issued and lodged against
them. A detainer is an order that someone must be kept in jail. A detaine
cannot be removed by paying bail and can only be removed, or lifted, by
a judge or magistrate. In many circumstances, detainers will be issued
when there is an allegation that a person has committed a violation of
their probation or parole — even a minor or technical violation.
However, many alleged violations are misunderstandings, or infractions
which the person on probation has a valid excuse for. By filing a motion
to lift a detainer, an attorney can argue before the judge that legitimate
reason exists for the violation, or that there are other extraordinary
circumstances that justify releasing a person from jail.
Jim Lloyd, and
Timothy Tarpey are criminal defense attorneys
and former Philadelphia Assistant District Attorneys with more than 30 years
experience who have filed countless motions and petitions requesting that
detainers be lifted or seeking early parole. Many of these motions have
resulted in having our clients released from jail in Philadelphia, Montgomery,
Bucks, and Delaware Counties. If you know someone who is serving a sentence
or is in jail on a judge's detainer call us now so we can start working
to get your loved one out of jail as soon as possible. Talk to an experienced
Philadelphia criminal defense attorney.
Call us at (215) 352-3432.