When to Hire a Lawyer for Pardons or Paroles in Alabama
Here at Skier & Associates we have noticed a larger than usual number of potential clients calling our offices for advice and help AFTER they have already had a hearing on a Pardon or Parole request that did not go their way. We cannot emphasize enough that waiting until after the Board has already considered your case is not the best time to reach out to us. Clearly the best time to contact a lawyer for help is prior to a hearing, preferably several weeks or months out.
There are many reasons for this, but the two most important will be discussed here: First, the Board’s extremely limited ability to reconsider their actions, and second the importance of giving the Board all necessary information BEFORE their initial decision.
Once a decision is made on a case, the Board only has authority to reconsider that decision under their Administrative Rule 640-X-6-.02, which is very restrictive about what kinds of reconsideration requests will be honored as well as the timing of such requests. No one should be particularly surprised that it is much easier for the Board to un-do the granting of a pardon or parole rather than change a full or partial denial. The rule requires a Board member to “void” their original vote, thus staying the board’s original action. Further, the time limitation for this relief is that the action must be undertaken prior to a person’s release (which is not an issue in the event of a denial of parole) or before a Pardon Certificate is issued, which can vary widely, and it not always known to a person.
We have written here in the past about the importance of presenting all available evidence to the Board at the original time of the hearing. This is especially important in light of the fact that currently there are no live hearings going on and all information must be submitted ahead of time for the Board’s consideration. In this day of “administrative” pardon and parole hearings, this has gained added importance. It is extremely difficult to present NEW information after a decision has been made. The best practice is clear: Give the Board the information they need in order to make an informed decision at the original hearing, then you don’t need to worry about them reconsidering anything.
Now more than ever it is important to at least consult with a lawyer familiar with Board practice so that you make sure to make the Board aware of all important facts for them to consider at the original hearing. IF this is not done, it is unlikely that you will be able to gain any relief through reconsideration.
If you or someone you care about have a case pending before the Board of Pardons and Paroles, or if you want to learn more about the process, please call our office at (334) 263-4105 as soon as possible to consult with a lawyer who will be able to analyze your case and advise on what your best course of action will be.