Happy New Year! I know that my blog has been rather quiet lately. The past few weeks have been packed with good food, family and
friends, making goals for the new year and planning how I intend to accomplish said goals. Anyway, I am back and ready to serve up some information on Louisiana criminal laws as well as my personal musings.
Before Christmas, I attended the annual end of the year Continuing Legal Education (CLE) seminar hosted by the Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (LACDL), an organization that I encourage all Louisiana criminal attorneys to join. This CLE is usually full of all kinds of information that I believe helps me to grow as an attorney and offer a better service to my clients. I am looking forward to sharing many bits of my new found knowledge with my readers this year.
Louisiana parole eligibility laws are complicated. Many of the most highly skilled criminal attorneys do not fully understand these laws. I know that it is frustrating for clients because many accept sentences under the belief that they will be eligible for parole in X years, but when they arrive at the Louisiana Department of Corrections (DOC), they learn that their eligibility date is further away. The Louisiana Parole Eligibility statute is located at La. R.S. 15:574.4.
Parole Eligibility Overview
|A first time offender who is not serving a sentence for a violent offense, sex offense or sentenced under La. R.S. 15:529.1 (Multiple Offender Statute) regardless of the date of conviction, convicted of a first felony offense is eligible for parole consideration after serving 1/4th of the sentenced imposed. Eligibility is at 25% of the sentence – Act 285 of 2011. Effective for people who were sentenced on or after August 15, 2011.|
|Upon conviction of a second felony offense and not serving a sentence for a for a violent offense, sex offense or sentenced under La. R.S. 15:529.1 regardless of the date of the conviction, is eligible for parole consideration upon serving 33 1/3% of the sentence imposed. Act 159 of 2012. Effective for people sentenced on or after August 1, 2012.|
|A person convicted of a third or subsequent felony and committed to the DOC is not eligible for parole consideration. Effective for crimes committed on or after January 1, 1982.|
|A person who is serving a sentence for a crime of violence which was committed on or after January 1, 1997, and otherwise eligible for parole must serve at least 85% before parole consideration Act 1099 of 1995. Effective for crimes committed on or after January 1, 1997.|
|A person serving a life sentence is not eligible for parole. Act 162 of 1952. Effective for offenses committed on or after July 30, 1952.|
Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. i.e. Geriatric Parole, Juvenile Life Sentences, Life Sentences for Non-Violent Offenses… I hope to discuss these exceptions in another blog post.
Note: No inmate who has pending charges against him may be paroled.
If you have a loved one who is currently serving time, I extend sincerest empathy and compassion to you. I know that it is just as difficult for you as it is for your loved one.
If you need help with a parole issue, contact New Orleans Criminal Attorney Elizabeth B. Carpenter to schedule a consultation.