How Much Does a Parole Lawyer Cost?
by Unbundled Legal Help
A prison sentence does not have to be the end of your story. In many cases, the judge may sentence you to prison, with the chance of getting out on parole after serving a portion of your sentence.
You may increase your chances of getting released on parole with the help of a parole lawyer, but parole lawyers can be costly. Fortunately, an unbundled lawyer may be the answer.
Unbundled Legal Help is ready to hear your story and connect you with a local unbundled lawyer today.
What Is Parole?
Parole is a conditional release from prison. When a parole board grants a prison inmate parole, the inmate gets out of jail but must agree to follow certain conditions for a specified amount of time.
Parole allows inmates the opportunity to transition back into normal, everyday life. The possibility of parole encourages good conduct while incarcerated, and the conditions parolees must adhere to promote law-abiding behavior after their release.
While parole offers inmates a great opportunity, it must be taken seriously. Failure to comply with the rules can mean serious consequences.
How Does Parole Work?
First, a prison inmate must qualify for parole.
If you qualify for parole, you appear before the parole board at your prison. They will ask a series of questions to help decide if parole is the right choice. In some cases, the board may allow witnesses to testify at your parole hearing.
After your hearing, the parole board will deliberate and approve or deny your parole.
If you are approved, you will be subject to the terms of your parole.
Will I Have a Parole Officer?
Yes. After you are approved for parole, you will be assigned a parole officer.
You will meet with your parole officer at specified times, usually monthly. Your parole officer can serve as a resource during your time on parole, helping you to follow all guidelines and stay out of trouble.
Eligibility for Parole
Usually, at your sentencing, a judge will decide whether you will ever be eligible for parole. If your sentence does include eligibility for parole, there will be a “parole eligibility date.” You will not be eligible to be released before this specified date.
Sometimes, a judge may sentence an individual to prison with no eligibility for parole, a “life sentence without the possibility of parole.” If a judge deems you are ineligible for parole, this will remain true throughout the entirety of your sentence.
Routinely, an inmate must serve at least one-third of their sentence before they can be released on parole.
Just because you are eligible for parole does not mean it is a guaranteed right. Whether the parole board approves your application for parole will depend on your circumstances.
What Does the Parole Board Consider?
At your parole hearing, the parole board will ask questions and consider factors to determine whether they should approve your parole. Common factors include:
- The type and severity of your crime
- The extent of your criminal record
- Your conduct while in prison
- Your mental stability
- Your character traits and attitude
- Your rehabilitation efforts
The parole board wants to be confident in their decision to release you on parole, as it will affect you and those around you. If they feel you’ve earned your parole and would not be a threat to the community, they may strongly consider approving your application.
How Do I Apply for Parole?
If you wish to apply for parole, your case manager will provide an application you must fill out and sign. Turning in your application starts the parole process.
If the time for parole has come and you are not interested at that time, you are not obligated to apply. Your case manager can provide a waiver instead.
What Happens if I’m Not Approved for Parole?
If you are not approved for parole, you will simply remain in prison.
If you wish, you may appeal the parole decision. You have 30 to 60 days to file an appeal, depending on the laws in your state. Your appeal will then either affirm, reverse, or modify the parole board’s decision.
In some states, an inmate may only appeal the decision under limited circumstances, for example, if new evidence appears that was not previously available.
If you are not approved, you will be eligible to apply for parole again after some passage of time.
Parole Rules and Conditions
If granted parole, you must follow certain rules and conditions throughout the entirety of your parole. These commonly include:
- Regularly reporting to your parole officer
- Living within a designated area
- Remaining in the state
- Maintaining employment
- Obeying all laws
- Avoiding use or possession of illegal drugs
- Possessing no firearms or weapons
- Avoiding contact with certain individuals
Conditions may vary depending on your circumstances. You must follow all rules at all times to avoid possible repercussions.
How Long Does Parole Last?
There is no “average” parole time. Your parole length depends on the criminal offense that put you in prison in the first place and your conduct while in prison.
Usually, parole does not last longer than five years. However, it can last longer, even the rest of a parolee’s life.
Are Parole and Probation the Same Thing?
While parole and probation share some similarities, details differ.
Probation implies a suspended sentence, meaning in some cases, you face a prison sentence but a judge grants probation in place of jail time. In other cases, you may serve a minimal jail sentence and be released on probation. Probation often replaces prison for some eligible individuals. Probation can require the assignment of a probation officer to help those on probation remain in good standing, adhering to all conditions.
Parole, on the other hand, will never eliminate a prison sentence. To be eligible for parole, the judge must first allow the inmate the opportunity during sentencing. Inmates are also required to serve a portion of their prison sentence and must apply for parole, with no guarantees. Parolees will have a parole officer who guides them through the process and ensures they follow all rules.
Parole and probation allow individuals charged with crimes to live freely, but the road to conditional freedom is quite different.
What Happens if I Violate My Parole?
If you violate any of the terms of your parole, there are many consequences.
Your parole officer is required to report the violation. You might only receive a warning, but in many cases, you may be arrested or summoned to appear at a hearing. Parolees that violate the conditions often get their parole revoked and must return to prison.
Your parole officer will usually recommend an appropriate consequence of your violation, and their recommendation carries weight.
A Parole Lawyer Can Help You
If you wish to get parole, a lawyer may provide assistance.
It is beneficial to have a qualified criminal defense attorney represent you at your sentencing, in an effort to get the judge to allow for the possibility of parole.
You can have a parole lawyer with you as well when it’s time to apply for parole. An attorney can competently represent you at your hearing, increasing your chances of approval.
Lastly, if you violate the terms of your parole and must appear at a revocation hearing, a parole attorney can provide representation for you as well.
Parole is a unique, life-changing opportunity. Put yourself in the best possible position to get parole with the help of a skilled parole lawyer.
How Much Does a Parole Lawyer Cost?
The cost of a parole lawyer depends on many factors, including:
- The lawyer’s experience and knowledge
- The complexity of your particular situation
- What steps the lawyer must take for your case
- The level of representation you need
Some attorneys require a retainer, while others charge flat fees. Retainers can cost thousands of dollars, and once the lawyer has used up the retainer, they will begin to charge hourly. Hourly rates for a probate lawyer are typically $200-$500.
High legal costs are the main reason many individuals choose to go without representation.
Consider an Unbundled Lawyer
Legal help is more attainable than you may think.
An unbundled lawyer is a regular lawyer with a different pay structure than the traditional attorney. When you hire an unbundled lawyer, you can expect to pay only for the most critical parts of your case rather than full representation. Receiving help from an unbundled lawyer frequently costs $500-$1500.
Unbundled Legal Help believes everyone deserves a fair opportunity to get exceptional legal assistance. We work with numerous attorneys and match you with your ideal unbundled lawyer.
Whether you need limited assistance or more extensive representation, we can connect you today with a local parole lawyer.
Contact us today to get started.