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How can I become eligible for a commutation?

When a person has been sentenced to prison for committing a crime, they are facing years of hardship even after their sentence is over. There are certain instances in which the Governor of New York may reconsider an inmate’s sentence and determine that it should, for whatever reason, be reduced. Sentence commutations are relatively rare and not everyone is eligible, depending on the crime they have been convicted of. They may allow the inmate being commuted to actually be released from prison immediately.

In order to become eligible for a commuted sentence, there are both term requirements and development requirements as well. The inmate must have a minimum imprisonment sentence of at least a year. In addition, they must not have the option for parole within a year of the date they apply for a commutation. Finally, the convicted person must have served a minimum of half of the prison sentence as well. The major concern that exists with commuting a prisoner’s sentence is that law enforcement needs to be sure that the inmate will not commit further crimes once they are released.

It is important to be aware that burden of proof for eligibility is on the inmate. Some potential reasons for commutation eligibility include terminal illness, proof that the inmate has made the best of the available rehabilitative programs offered, and other exceptional circumstances.

If you have questions regarding eligibility for a commuted sentence, it is important that you speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can assess the situation and help you move forward.

Kevin T. Conway has over 30 years of experience as a Spring Valley criminal attorney handling DUI, DWI, traffic violations, violent crimes, sex crimes, illegal gun possession, shoplifting, and juvenile crimes. If you need a Rockland County criminal lawyer, contact our Spring Valley office for a free consultation.  

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