Parole is the early release of a prisoner who agrees to comply with certain terms until his sentence has come to an end. Many prisoners dream of being released on parole so they can get out from behind bars and start to rebuild their lives while they serve the remainder of their sentences. But, not every prisoner is eligible for parole.

Parole Eligibility

In the state of Colorado, defendants who are convicted of committing class 1 felonies are not eligible to be released on parole. Most defendants who are convicted of class 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 felonies are eligible for parole after serving half of their sentence. These prisoners can be released on parole even earlier if they have “earned time,” which are credits given to prisoners who exhibit good behavior and participate in certain activities while behind bars. However, there is a limit on how much earned time can be used. The earliest that this type of prisoner would be released on parole is after serving 38% of his sentence.

Prisoners who have committed violent crimes will not be eligible for parole after serving 50% of their sentence. For example, second degree murder is a class 2 felony in Colorado. But, a prisoner who has committed second degree murder will not be eligible for parole after serving half of his sentence because he committed a violent crime. Instead, he will have to serve at least 75% of his sentence, less earned time.

The Parole Hearing

Being eligible for parole does not mean that a prisoner will be released on parole. Every prisoner that is eligible for parole must attend a parole hearing. The panel at the parole hearing will ask the prisoner a series of questions before deciding if prisoner should be released. The goal is to determine if the prisoner is remorseful about his crime, if he has made an effort to better himself behind bars, and if he will pose a threat to the community when he is released.

Victims are allowed to submit statements to either support or oppose the prisoner’s release. Panel members will also take this statement into consideration before making this decision.

If you have been charged with a crime, get in touch with the criminal defense attorneys at Reisch Law Firm today. We will fight tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcome in your case. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.