In South Carolina, the terms probation, parole and pardon are often referenced in criminal cases. Although each term relates to sentencing, they have very different meanings.
The Board of Paroles and Pardons can order parole, which allows an offender to be released from prison and complete part of his or her sentence in the community. Not every prisoner qualifies for parole. A prisoner who committed a “no parole offense” does not qualify for parole. Under South Carolina law, a “no parole offense” is defined as a class A, B or C felony or any other offense that is punishable by a maximum sentence of 20 years or more.
Probation is a process wherein a convicted person is allowed to remain in the community instead of being sent to jail. Probation is typically an option for non-violent first offenses. A probation officer supervises a probationer’s living arrangements and can limit what the probationer is allowed to do. An individual on probation must satisfy certain requirements in order to remain out of jail. In order to remain out of jail, a probationer must do the following:
- Regularly meet with the probation officer;
- Promptly pay all court fines, costs and supervision fees;
- If the probation agent suspects the probationer of breaking the law, he or she must submit to a search of your person or property without a search warrant;
- Stay employed in order to pay the required court and supervision costs as well as living expenses;
- Submit to a drug test if the probation officer requests one;
- Stay out of trouble and do not break the law;
- Allow the probation officer to visit at any time;
- Maintain a curfew in order to stay out of trouble; and
- Follow all of the probation officer’s instruction and advice.
Pardon is the best option, as it does not require jail time or supervision. A pardon means that an individual is completely forgiven from all legal consequences of a crime and conviction. This includes all fines and penalties. Eligibility for a pardon depends on an individual’s situation.
- Probationers: If all restitution has been completely paid, probationers can be considered for a pardon after receiving a discharge from supervision.
- Parolees: If all restitution has been completely paid, parolees can be considered for a pardon after successfully finishing five years of supervision. However, if the maximum parole period is less than five years, then discharged parolees can be considered for a pardon after successfully completing the maximum parole period.
- Individuals discharged from a sentence: If all restitution has been paid in full, discharged individuals may be pardoned any time after the discharge.
- Inmates: Inmates must provide proof of extraordinary circumstances before becoming eligible for parole in order to receive a pardon. The inmate must also pay all restitution completely.
- Inmates with a terminal illness: A terminally ill inmate may be considered for a pardon after becoming afflicted with an illness with a life expectancy of one year or less. The inmate must provide two doctor’s statements and pay all restitution in full.
Do you need help with a probation, parole or pardon legal matter? At De Bruin Law Firm in Greenville, South Carolina, experienced criminal law attorneys will make sure that you get the best legal representation. Contact De Bruin Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation with one of our criminal law attorneys.
What will a criminal defense attorney do for my case?
Once I have evaluated your case I will provide you an overview of your case. This will describe among other things the criminal law process, how we will work together to navigate the criminal justice system, and what expectation I have for you as a client and what expectations you should have for me as your defense attorney.
What should my attorney do to prepare my case for trial?
I collect not only the evidence that the government is required to supply, but also gather my own evidence for your defense as well. I will talk to witnesses, look for other video from third party sources, and go to the scene of the alleged offense. I believe your case is far to important not to go the extra mile to insure we know all the facts for your case, to provide you the best possible defense.
What do I need to do to help my attorney defend me?
No one cares more about your case than you. While we prepare your case, we also prepare your for trial. The one thing we need most from you is total honesty. Remember, everything you and I talk about is confidential. I am on your side.
For Drug offense cases, we may require you to look into a rehabilitation facility. I have had client’s charged with drug crimes who unfortunately we suffering from serious addiction and needed help, not jail. When I was able to convince those clients to make the difficult decision and enter a rehabilitation facility it helped create a positive situation that made negotiating their case more favorable. Many criminal cases last over a year. If I can help get a client suffering from an addition on the path to recovery while defending them from their criminal drug charges, their future becomes much more optimistic, and often, so does their case. Changing your life prior to trial or before a plea will greatly decrease your changes of going to jail. We are here to help not only with your legal needs, but also to help you in life. We have seen success stories and want you to be one too.
How much does a criminal defense attorney cost?
Your attorney’s fees will be based on multiple things including but not limited to, the severity of the crime, the evidence against you, prior convictions, and the amount of jail time your are facing if convicted. For criminal defense services I charge my client’s a flat fee on almost all cases at the start of their case. Therefore, you know how much your case will cost on day one.
I also am aware that many people are unable to afford to pay thousands of dollars upfront. In order to better serve my clients I offer a payment plan option. If you’d like to see if you qualify for our criminal defense payment plan option please contact us by using our form, or call us directly at (864) 372-2896.
Who will handle my case?
How do you know the attorney you hire is the attorney who will represent you during the entire process? I personally guarantee that I will handle every part of your criminal case, you will not be passed of t a junior attorney.