What is Judicial Release?

JailsJudicial Release, formerly known as "shock probation," is a way to get an imprisoned person out before their release date. The individual is released from jail and the remainder of their sentence is converted to probation. In September of 2011, Ohio House Bill 86 eased the eligibility requirements for those that are incarcerated.

Am I eligible for Judicial Release?

Ohio House Bill 86 modified the time that has to be served before an individual is eligible to file for judicial release. The eligibility requirements are:

  • 30 days if non-mandatory is time is less than 2 years;
  • 180 days if non-mandatory time is at least 2 years, but less than 5 years;
  • 4 years if non-mandatory time is 5 years;
  • 5 years if non-mandatory time is more than 5 years, but less than 10 years; or 
  • One half of all non-mandatory time for any sentence over 10 years.

Secondly, a person is not eligible for judicial release if:

  • The person is only serving mandatory time;
  • The trial court previously denied the motion after a hearing;
  • The trial court previously denied the motion with prejudice, but no hearing (except on court's own motion); or
  • The offenses were committed while serving in public office.

Third, judicial release cannot be granted by the trial court for drug offenses or OVI offenses for which there is a presumption of prison without making certain findings.

Finally, the Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections can seek judicial release for various reasons if the inmate has served over 80% of their sentence.

How do I obtain Judicial Release?

Light at end of the tunnelTo obtain judicial release, a written motion must be filed and a hearing will be conducted. It is important to have an attorney represent you in the hearing and draft the motion because your freedom depends on it. Filing a Motion for Judicial Release is complex, and subject to very strict deadlines. Adam Nemann will work hard on your case and will argue for your release. He will investigate what programs you may have participated in while in jail, your contributions to society and to your family, and your individualized needs to be released. You may only have one chance to file a Motion for Judicial Release, so it’s crucial that you make the strongest and most persuasive case possible. In Ohio, sentencing judges have total discretion in deciding whether or not to grant a Motion for Judicial Release. If your Motion for Judicial Release is denied following a hearing, the Court cannot consider any subsequent Motion for Judicial Release for the remainder of your sentence, so you need to get it right the first time.

Contact us today to determine whether or not you or your loved one is eligible for judicial release.


Adam Lee Nemann
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Trial and Defense Attorney, Adjunct Professor of Law at Capital University, founder of Nemann Law Offices

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