Understanding Minnesota Laws Regarding Conditional Release


In the state of Minnesota, some criminal convictions are subject to “conditional release.” Unfortunately, this affects many incarcerated individuals, but who determines who will be subject to mandatory conditional release? What does conditional release mean? Furthermore, does it differ from traditional parole? Our attorneys at Caplan & Tamburino Law Firm are here to break down the complexities of conditional release and what it means for incarcerated Minnesota residents and their families.

What Is Conditional Release?

Conditional release governs some criminal convictions and essentially means that after serving a prison sentence, some individuals will remain under the strict supervision of the Minnesota Department of Corrections for a period of time.

The judge overseeing your case will refer to the law to determine whether your crime is subject to conditional release from prison. Commonly, those found guilty of sex crimes or felony driving while impaired (DWI) will be subject to mandatory conditional release.

While some people may support conditional release, it can be a significant setback for those affected by it, as unfortunately, they may remain under this supervision for anywhere between a few years and the rest of their lives after they have already served prison time. This can make it difficult for them to reintegrate into society.

What Is the Difference Between Conditional Release and Parole?

Mandatory conditional release differs from traditional parole when the supervisory period occurs in relation to a criminal sentence. As mentioned, a term of conditional release is added on top of a person’s sentence and does not factor into the length of the sentence as determined by a court or jury. Parole, on the other hand, requires that a person serves two-thirds of their sentence in a physical prison and the remainder on parole under the supervision of a parole officer.

One similarity between parole and conditional release is that if the individual under supervision is found to be in violation of their release agreement, then they are sent back to prison. Therefore, these individuals must be aware that the revocation of conditional release and parole can happen at any misstep and must proceed with care.

Requesting Conditional Release

Incarcerated individuals may be able to begin their conditional release earlier than scheduled “if the offender suffers from a grave illness or medical condition and the release poses no threat to the public,” according to Minnesota Statute 244.05.

There is, however, no other language concerning how to submit a request for early conditional release or how to go about getting your conditional release term shortened. Thus, if you are facing an offense that will result in mandatory conditional release from prison if convicted, it is in your best interest to consult a professional criminal defense lawyer.

Caplan & Tamburino Law Firm helps clients in high-stakes cases in both state and federal courts. Since 1983, we have represented clients facing a wide array of offenses, from those concerning sex crimes to DWIs, and more. Put your case in deft hands. Contact us online or call (612) 444-5020 today to speak with a conditional release MN legal adviser.

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