View Full Version : Sentencing- How is eligibility for half time, etc, determined?


~LatinGoddess~
05-21-2009, 11:13 AM
I have a quick question: what determines if the inmate is eligible for half time? what determines if they will get flat or half time?

And how do they get credit? and what is it?
LOL thanks.

agrlsparky
05-24-2009, 08:44 PM
Basically, the sentencing is determined by the crime that was committed and whether or not the person has a prior felony conviction.

For example, if you do not have a prior felony conviction, you are eligible for half time.
If you have a prior, then you are NOT eligible half time---your sentence is usually done at 80%.

Plus, a sentence can be modified depending on if the person makes a plea deal or agrees to some other type of punishment like drug counseling, anger management, etc. that he and the judge agree upon.

There are a number of factors that determine sentencing. There's really no set formula or chart that you can use, but I hope this helps you a little bit. Good luck to you.

BigShoulders
05-25-2009, 01:12 AM
Basically, the sentencing is determined by the crime that was committed and whether or not the person has a prior felony conviction.

For example, if you do not have a prior felony conviction, you are eligible for half time.
If you have a prior, then you are NOT eligible half time---your sentence is usually done at 80%.

Plus, a sentence can be modified depending on if the person makes a plea deal or agrees to some other type of punishment like drug counseling, anger management, etc. that he and the judge agree upon.

There are a number of factors that determine sentencing. There's really no set formula or chart that you can use, but I hope this helps you a little bit. Good luck to you.

It doesn't follow that if they have a prior conviction you're not eligible for half time. My sister has two previous felony convictions in NY and she was sentenced to half time here. There has to be more to it than just previous convictions.

agrlsparky
05-25-2009, 08:44 AM
Maybe felonies in NY do not apply to California law. I don't know. I am not an attorney. But normally in the state of California, your first offense is eligible for half time. Perhaps she was eligible for half tim because it was her first California offense.

Future offenses in California are not eligible for half time, and in fact the judge can add on a 1 year enhancement to the sentence just because they have a prior offense.

Sylvia
05-25-2009, 08:51 AM
I have a friend that has been in and out for more than 20 years and he still gets half time. It depends on the seriousness of the crime. Enhancements are given after the first conviction of a felonly, usually. My son had 2 cases (first time in trouble) and they tried them together. He got half time but 2 year enhancement because he had more than 1 case.

Mbyrd
05-25-2009, 09:15 AM
I have a friend that has been in and out for more than 20 years and he still gets half time. It depends on the seriousness of the crime. Enhancements are given after the first conviction of a felonly, usually. My son had 2 cases (first time in trouble) and they tried them together. He got half time but 2 year enhancement because he had more than 1 case.


My son has several felonies and two strikes. His current sentence, for a felony, is at half time, with no prison priors (enhancements) and his strikes were struck for purposes of this sentence. It all depends on the circumstances of the crime, how good the defense is, etc. It seems that nothing is set in stone.

Shari
05-25-2009, 07:20 PM
If the offense is non-violent they will serve 50% all the time no matter how many times they have been in and out. I know a guy who has been in and out his whole adult life and he never served more than 50% cause all his crimes have always been non-violent. If the crime is considered violent then they will serve either 80% or 85%.

kima
05-25-2009, 08:05 PM
My husband is serving a second strike at 80%, non-violent and he has never had a violent crime. Second strikes get their sentence doubled, get added enhancements (usually) and serve their time at 80% if non-violent and 85% if violent. Third strikes, whether violent or not, get 25 to life, at 85% (not positive in non-violent 3rd strikes are eligible for 80% on their 25-life sentence, though).

Every California inmate is eligible for what is sometimes called "good time credits". It's an automatic percent they will serve on their sentence. Fire camp inmates will get 65% of time earned (serve 35% of sentence), other inmates either get 50% (serve half), 20% (serve 80%) or 15% (serve 85%). You can't earn additional time credits (yet), although there is possibly legislation pending on this, but they time credits be "taken away", ie., 115's (fighting, contraband, etc.). So it's possible that an inmate could be serving with 50% "good time credits", but end up behind bars for more than half their sentence because of rules infractions and violations.

There are DA's that watch specifically for prison cases, and there have been instances of a prisoner who is in on a second strike catching a third strike while IN prison, and ending up with a 25-life sentence. It seems somewhat arbitrary, one guy caught a 25-life because he committed bigamy while he was in county jail. The DA used that to bring a new case and the guy got a 3rd strike because of it. I don't know how often it happens, but it does happen...

Violet007
05-25-2009, 08:51 PM
There are DA's that watch specifically for prison cases, and there have been instances of a prisoner who is in on a second strike catching a third strike while IN prison, and ending up with a 25-life sentence. It seems somewhat arbitrary, one guy caught a 25-life because he has committed bigamy while he was in county jail. The DA used that to bring a new case and the guy got a 3rd strike because of it. I don't know how often it happens, but it does happen...

And don't forget those local DA's get $$ from the state for handling prison cases. DA referrals (115s that end up in the local county court) can be treacherous.

monaire
05-25-2009, 10:14 PM
There are DA's that watch specifically for prison cases, and there have been instances of a prisoner who is in on a second strike catching a third strike while IN prison, and ending up with a 25-life sentence. It seems somewhat arbitrary, one guy caught a 25-life because he committed bigamy while he was in county jail. The DA used that to bring a new case and the guy got a 3rd strike because of it. I don't know how often it happens, but it does happen...
:eek: That is so dirty of the DA. The more I am learn about this system of ours, the more depressed I become. Especially with the arbitrary nature of this entire thing; even though the CA Penal Code calls for "uniformity in the sentences of offenders committing the same offense under similar circumstances".
I am simply baffled. :(

Gryphon
05-26-2009, 10:54 AM
There's some correct information in this thread, but a lot of bad information as well. Unless a prior conviction is a "strike", it has no impact on conduct credit percentages. Conduct credits can be exactly predicted, depending on the nature of the crime (violent or non-violent), whether there was a strike, and and whether teh inmae is in firecamp. It also makes a difference if conduct credits are earned in prison or local jail (unless it is a violent crime, then conduct credits would be teh same.)
There is a formula, and earliest eligible release dates in CA are determined at Reception. The inmate gets out on that date unless conduct credits are lost because of misbehavior. (This is true for all determinate sentences, meaning a known time to be served. Indeterminate sentences, meaning up to a life term, are different and require a parole board to set a release date.)

Conduct credits are:
33% for county jail time on non-violent crimes resulting in prison terms, or for any crime resulting in a probation grant.
50% for non-violent non-strike prison sentences.
65% for firecamp if otherwise eligible for 50%.
20% for non-violent crimes that are enhanced by a strike prior.
15% for violent crimes resulting in prison (including county jail conduct credits if the crime is violent and the sentence is prison).

DonFromWI
05-27-2009, 12:31 PM
There are DA's that watch specifically for prison cases, and there have been instances of a prisoner who is in on a second strike catching a third strike while IN prison, and ending up with a 25-life sentence. It seems somewhat arbitrary, one guy caught a 25-life because he committed bigamy while he was in county jail. The DA used that to bring a new case and the guy got a 3rd strike because of it. I don't know how often it happens, but it does happen...

How did that work? :confused:
WTF??? :confused::confused::confused:

kima
05-27-2009, 12:46 PM
Bigamy Charge Is Man's 3rd Strike
http://articles.latimes.com/2000/jan/08/news/mn-52010

Here's another third strike case that was caught in prison:
The High Cost of Prison Overcrowding
While in prison, he paid $20 for a fix costing $6 on the street and was caught with a syringe. He was given a third strike and his current 25-years-to-life sentence.
http://www.davidbeck-brown.com/literaryarts_cost_of_prison_overcrowding.shtm

There are more stories like these, I hope if you come across some of them, you'll post them here!

Lost_Cause
06-12-2009, 02:31 AM
About 5-6 years ago my boyfriend received a 3-year joint-suspended sentence with half time and placed on supervised probation. After a few probation violations, I remember the judge warning him the original 3-year joint-suspended sentence would be imposed if he violates probation one more time. Several officers came to my house (not his) to conduct a probation check. They searched everywhere and found an old rusty sawed off shotgun (legal length) in an old pickup truck in my yard, and charged him with possession of the firearm, and he was not even there.

Now when he goes back to do 6 months for a parole violation, he does the whole 6 months, flat time. We are told that he lost his half time because of the gun they found in the truck in my yard.

I have never understood why he does not get half time. His controlling case is Child Endangerment - was riding his dirt bike with our 4 year old son and did not stop for officer.

Gryphon
06-12-2009, 06:37 PM
On a parole violation, not getting conduct credits is an administrative decision. If they can state pretty much ANY reason they think it's teh right sentence than that's enough reason. They can't do it because it is Thursday, or because he is african american, or because he is gay. However, if teh reason passes constututional standards that's all it takes.
In other words: because parole FEELS like it, and they say it'll serve the goals of rehabilitation and punishment.

If it is true that the shotgun had no known ties to the parolee and there was no way to show he had control over it (for instance, the truck was registered to him) then I don't understand how he was violated (even in kangaroo court they have to prove SOMETHING, and he did have the right to an attorney on the violation. I suspect that there's "the rest of the story".
Being there is not the issue. They have to prove (at least a little bit) that he has the ability to control the weapon.

About 5-6 years ago my boyfriend received a 3-year joint-suspended sentence with half time and placed on supervised probation. After a few probation violations, I remember the judge warning him the original 3-year joint-suspended sentence would be imposed if he violates probation one more time. Several officers came to my house (not his) to conduct a probation check. They searched everywhere and found an old rusty sawed off shotgun (legal length) in an old pickup truck in my yard, and charged him with possession of the firearm, and he was not even there.

Now when he goes back to do 6 months for a parole violation, he does the whole 6 months, flat time. We are told that he lost his half time because of the gun they found in the truck in my yard.

I have never understood why he does not get half time. His controlling case is Child Endangerment - was riding his dirt bike with our 4 year old son and did not stop for officer.

Lost_Cause
06-23-2009, 12:24 PM
It was a lot of years ago... at this point he was only on probation with a joint-suspended sentence hanging over his head, for whatever reason they came looking for him, he was already doomed and probation violated and 3 year joint-suspended imposed. The point of my post is his original 3-year joint suspended sentence was with half time, but years later after he served his time and he he violated parole, he did not get the half time, as originally stated when the 3-year joint-suspended was given to him. So now when he receives 6 months for a violation, he does the whole 6 months flat time. He has no strikes or violent felonies. When questioning why, it is said because of the possession of firearm from the last probation violation. Maybe im missing something (most likely) but this is the answer when we ask why.

BTW, i was the one arrested during the probation check at my house and it was eventually dismissed due to illegal search and seizure. The officer had claimed he had "personal knowledge" that boyfriend resided with me, but come to find out that was not enough for them to come to my house kicking my doors in looking for him. Furthermore, once they realized he wasnt there, they should have turned around and left instead of harrassing me.