Understanding Compassionate Release Petitions and Filing Them with the Help of an Appellate Attorney Under the First Step Act
Compassionate release petitions are a lifeline for sentenced federal inmates facing serious medical conditions and other compassionate circumstances. The First Step Act, which came into force on December 21, 2018, expanded the eligibility criteria and streamlined the process for filing compassionate release petitions. However, many federal inmates and their families are still unaware of this option or struggling to navigate the complex legal process. In this blog post, we will provide a detailed overview of compassionate release petitions under the First Step Act and explain how appellate attorneys can help federal inmates obtain relief for their medical and personal needs.
Eligibility Criteria for Compassionate Release Petitions under the First Step Act
The First Step Act introduced three categories of compassionate release petitions:
Terminal illness: Inmates diagnosed with a terminal illness with a life expectancy of 18 months or less can apply for release on compassionate grounds.
Elderly inmates: Inmates aged 60 years or above can apply for compassionate release if they have served two-thirds of their sentence or have served at least 30 years in prison.
Other extraordinary and compelling circumstances: Inmates facing unusual or compelling circumstances, such as a significant and permanent reduction in physical or mental health, the death or incapacitation of the inmate’s only remaining family member, etc., can apply for compassionate release.
How to File a Compassionate Release Petition under the First Step Act
To file a compassionate release petition, a federal inmate must first exhaust all available administrative remedies by submitting a request for compassionate release to the Bureau of Prisons (BOP). If the BOP denies the request or fails to respond within 30 days, the inmate can seek judicial relief by filing a petition in the relevant federal district court.
Filing a compassionate release petition in federal court is a complex and technical process that requires familiarity with the relevant legal procedures and the ability to articulate compelling arguments in support of the inmate’s release. This is where appellate attorneys can help.
Appellate Attorneys and Compassionate Release Petitions
Appellate attorneys are experienced lawyers who specialize in representing clients in federal appeals and petitions for post-conviction relief. Many appellate attorneys also have expertise in drafting, filing, and litigating compassionate release petitions under the First Step Act.
Appellate attorneys often work in concert with criminal defense attorneys, families of incarcerated individuals, and their clients themselves to organize and present comprehensive and compelling arguments in support of granting compassionate release. They can help compile medical records, affidavits, and other supporting documentation to strengthen the petition.
Compassionate release petitions offer hope to federal inmates suffering from serious medical conditions and other compassionate situations. Under the First Step Act, more inmates than ever before are eligible for such relief. However, filing a compassionate release petition in federal court is a complex and daunting task that requires legal expertise and experience. Appellate attorneys can help federal inmates and their families navigate this process and increase the likelihood of success. If you or someone you love is facing a serious medical condition or other extraordinary circumstances in a federal prison, consider contacting an appellate attorney to explore your options for compassionate release.
For more information, you may contact us by calling (803) 445-1333 or sending us an email to schedule a case consultation.