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Criminal Sentencing: How Much Time Does One Serve?

August 24th, 2015 at 7:04 am

Illinois criminal justice system, mandatory sentencing, Illinois criminal attorney,When a person is facing criminal charges one of the primary concerns he or she has is how much prison time is possible. Every crime has a set punishment or range of possible punishments, but in our society that really does not tell us much. Each state is different and has its own complicated systems. Some states have parole; some states do not have parole. Some decrease sentences for good behavior, while others may not. Some have conditional release while others do not. This makes it extremely unlikely that someone who has not gone through the criminal process in a particular state will understand exactly how much time he or she is facing.

Illinois Does Not Have Parole

As a general rule, Illinois does not have a system of parole. Parole is a system where an inmate serves part of his or her sentence and then goes before a board who decides whether he or she should stay in prison or be granted an early release. A person granted parole faces restrictions similar to those on probation until his or her entire sentence is served either in prison or on parole. Illinois used to have a parole system; however, in the 1970s the legislature did away with it. What this means is that there are a few people who were convicted of crimes decades ago that still have a right to parole hearings and who may possibly be granted parole. And, if you commit a crime in Illinois now and you are convicted, you will not be eligible for parole. In addition, crimes in Illinois do often come with a term of supervised release. This is similar to parole, in that it is a period of supervision that comes after incarceration, but it is for a set term of years and does not result in early release.

Most Illinois Inmates Serve Half Their Sentences

Although Illinois does not have parole, that does not necessarily mean that one will serve every day of his or her sentence. Most Illinois inmates are required to serve one half of their sentences before being released. There are exceptions to this rule though. In the 1990s the legislature passed “truth in sentencing” laws. Under these laws, people convicted of certain serious crimes are required to serve larger portions of their sentence. People convicted of first-degree murder must serve 100 percent of their murder sentences. People convicted of other violent offenses must serve 85 percent of their sentences. There are also laws relating to specific offenses that require that some sentences be served consecutive to other sentences. This is why it is extremely important to discuss sentencing possibilities and the actual time you may serve with an attorney.

Call Christopher M. Cosley

If you are charged with a crime in Rolling Meadows, you will need the help of an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney. You should contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at (847)394-3200. We will fight for you. During an initial consultation we will discuss your objectives with you and work to obtain the best possible outcome given your priorities.

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