Commutation Attorney In California

Governor Newsom has increasingly been granting commutations to defendants who have been convicted of crimes in the past and are currently serving their sentences. Do you qualify for commutation and if so, what’s the next step? Here’s what you should know. 

What Is Commutation and Its Benefits? 

Commutation, or Executive Clemency, is a petition to reduce or eliminate the remainder of the defendant’s sentence. It does not reverse the conviction or findings of guilt or reinstate civil rights, however, it can help incarcerated individuals achieve freedom more quickly. 

Commutation may also allow a defendant to become immediately eligible for parole. Parole allows a board of selected individuals to examine case evidence and interview the defendant to determine if they should be released or continue to serve the remainder of their sentence. 

The primary benefits of commutation include being able to quickly get a prisoner released, obtain an early parole hearing before a defendant would normally be eligible, and to reduce a death sentence to life without parole. 

How to Know If You’re Eligible 

Eligibility for commutation is expansive and nearly anyone who was convicted of a crime in the State of California can be granted clemency with a few exceptions: 

  • The defendant must not be an impeached government official
  • The defendant was convicted of a federal offense or military crime 
  • The defendant was convicted of a crime in a different state or another country 

Generally, the decision to commute a sentence is up to a judge, and some judges may not grant a commutation in certain cases. For example, if an individual was found guilty of multiple felonies, the judge may decide to require the defendant to serve out their sentence. An exception to this is if a majority of supreme court justices agree to still commute the defendant’s sentence. 

To receive a commutation, you must apply for Executive Clemency with the California governor. 

Get Help with Commutation from a Sacramento Criminal Defense Lawyer 

If you’ve been convicted of a crime and are serving time, you may be able to file for commutation, or Executive Clemency. It’s important that you work with an experienced California criminal defense attorney to ensure your petition for commutation is as accurate and persuasive as possible. How your application is received by the governor matters and plays a significant role in whether or not your request is granted. Call today for more information at 916-822-8702.