No one ever wants to serve time behind bars, but unfortunately, many defendants who are convicted of crimes receive a jail or prison sentence. The length of time that a defendant will be ordered to spend behind bars can vary greatly depending on the nature of the crime. But, some defendants can shorten their stay in jail or prison if they qualify for a commuted sentence.
What is a Commuted Sentence?
A commuted sentence is a shortened sentence that is granted to a defendant who has already been convicted and sentenced to jail or prison time.
Who Can Commute A Defendant’s Sentence?
The Colorado Constitution gives the Colorado governor the right to commute sentences for defendants who are convicted of any crime with the exception of treason.
Even though the governor has the power to commute sentences, he does not make these decisions alone. A defendant who is requesting a commutation must submit an application along with a certificate from the superintendent of the correctional facility. The purpose of this certificate is to show that the defendant has exhibited good behavior during his time behind bars.
The application will then be sent to the judge and prosecutor that worked on the defendant’s case. Both of these parties will have the opportunity to offer their opinions on the defendant. This is done so the governor has as much information as possible when he reviews the application. Without this information, the governor may make a decision that is not in the public’s best interests.
Next, the application will make its way to the Executive Clemency Advisory Board. This board reviews the information in the defendant’s application and passes their recommendations along to the governor, who will have the final say as to whether or not the defendant’s sentence should be shortened.
Benefits of Commuted Sentences
If your sentence is commuted, you will be released from jail or prison much sooner than expected. This allows you to move forward with your life as quickly as possible. However, it is important to note that a commuted sentence will not wipe your criminal record clean. The conviction will remain on your record regardless of whether or not your sentence has been commuted.
No one should face criminal charges alone. Let the criminal defense attorneys at Reisch Law Firm fight to protect your rights through every step of the criminal court process. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.