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Law Changes Regarding Judicial Release in Ohio

Recent changes to Ohio's judicial release statutes may make it possible for incarcerated individuals to be released sooner than before.

Under changes to the law, which can be found here, individuals applying for judicial release who were sentenced to prison terms of five or more years can now apply for judicial release after they have completed a certain amount of their prison sentence. This will allow for individuals to apply for judicial release after their total sentence has reached a certain point.

Under previous versions of the law, an individual's ability to apply for judicial release did not begin to run until they were delivered to the Ohio prison system. As such, any jail credit would not count for applying for judicial release. Under the new law, an individual can apply for judicial release when he or she hits the magic number.

For example, if an individual was sentenced for a five year sentence, and had six months jail credit, under the prior law, he or she could not apply for judicial release until he/she had served a total sentence of four years and six months. Under the new law, the individual can apply one he or she has served a total sentence (prison plus jail credit) of four years.

The changes in this law do not just apply to individuals who were sentenced after the enactment of the changes, but to those who were sentenced prior to the law's changes.

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As a general rule, with certain exceptions, incarcerated individuals can apply for judicial release on the following timeframes:

(1) If the aggregated nonmandatory prison term or terms is less than two years, the eligible offender may file the motion not earlier than thirty days after the offender is delivered to a state correctional institution or, if the prison term includes a mandatory prison term or terms, not earlier than thirty days after the expiration of all mandatory prison terms.

(2) If the aggregated nonmandatory prison term or terms is at least two years but less than five years, the eligible offender may file the motion not earlier than one hundred eighty days after the offender is delivered to a state correctional institution or, if the prison term includes a mandatory prison term or terms, not earlier than one hundred eighty days after the expiration of all mandatory prison terms.

(3) If the aggregated nonmandatory prison term or terms is five years, the eligible offender may file the motion not earlier than the date on which the eligible offender has served four years of the offender's stated prison term or, if the prison term includes a mandatory prison term or terms, not earlier than four years after the expiration of all mandatory prison terms.

(4) If the aggregated nonmandatory prison term or terms is more than five years but not more than ten years, the eligible offender may file the motion not earlier than the date on which the eligible offender has served five years of the offender's stated prison term or, if the prison term includes a mandatory prison term or terms, not earlier than five years after the expiration of all mandatory prison terms.

(5) If the aggregated nonmandatory prison term or terms is more than ten years, the eligible offender may file the motion not earlier than the later of the date on which the offender has served one-half of the offender's stated prison term or the date specified in division (C)(4) of this section.

(R.C. 2920.20(C)).

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