The criminal justice system punishes individuals who break the law. However, in addition to punishment, the system seeks to rehabilitate individuals so they do not repeat criminal behavior. Rehabilitation can help criminal defendants get their life back on track.

As part of rehabilitation, the federal government and many states use shock probation. Some evidence indicates that shock probation has reduced criminal behavior, especially for young offenders. Therefore, shock probation is typically used in cases involving minor crimes, first-time offenders, and juvenile offenders. 

What Does Shock Probation Involve?

What Does Shock Probation Involve?

Probation can be an effective deterrent for some defendants. The court may grant probation instead of incarceration. 

During the probation period, they are required to follow strict rules and conditions set by the court. If they do not follow the conditions and terms of probation, the judge can order them to serve their entire jail or prison term.

However, some individuals might need a slightly stronger push in the right direction. Therefore, a judge might decide that shock probation is a better deterrent to future criminal activity. A person might not engage in criminal activity if they are exposed to the conditions of incarceration.

How Does Shock Probation Work in Kentucky?

How Does Shock Probation Work in Kentucky?

Shock probation is different from split sentencing. Split sentencing means the judge requires someone to spend a specific amount of time behind bars. After that time, the person may be released on court-supervised probation. 

With shock probation, the person is sentenced to incarceration for their crime. However, when the person serves a specific number of days in jail, they can petition the court for shock probation. 

Shock Probation for Misdemeanor Charges 

Shock Probation for Misdemeanor Charges 

Kentucky Revised Statute §439.267 outlines the requirements for shock probation for misdemeanor offenses. Typically, a misdemeanor conviction carries a maximum sentence of 12 months in a detention center or county jail. Therefore, the judge could sentence a person to serve up to one year in county jail for a misdemeanor conviction.

However, the person can file a motion with the court for shock probation after serving at least 30 days in jail. The court has 60 days from the filing date of the motion to consider whether to grant shock probation. A ruling must be entered within 10 days of considering the motion.

If the judge grants the shock probation motion, the person is released from jail and serves the remainder of their sentence on probation. Judges typically look for some evidence that you “deserve” to be released on shock probation. For example, did you enroll in a substance abuse program, complete other programs, and develop a plan to avoid committing crimes, such as arranging employment and a place to live?

When a judge denies a motion for shock probation, the decision is not open for appeal. Therefore, you want to ensure that you have ample grounds to prove you deserve shock probation. A Louisville criminal defense attorney can help you draft a motion that gives you the best chance of obtaining shock probation. 

Shock Probation for Felony Charges 

Shock Probation for Felony Charges 

Kentucky Revised Statute §439.265 governs shock probation motions for felony offenses. Felony offenses are punished by more than one year in state prison. Motions for felony shock probation must be made no earlier than 30 days or later than 180 days after the person following the conviction and sentencing. 

The same deadlines apply to felony shock motions. The court has 60 days to consider the motion and 10 days to file an order after considering the motion. Denials of motions are not appealable.

Because felony crimes are more serious, the arguments for why a person should be granted shock probation must be strong. Therefore, it is strongly suggested that a person seek legal advice when filing a motion. In addition, because of the deadline to file the motion, it is essential to seek prompt legal advice.

Keep in mind that you have a short time to file the motion for shock probation. Therefore, you need to take steps to show the judge that you deserve shock probation. Ideally, you want to begin working on your plan as soon as you are sentenced, if not before sentencing. 

Are There Crimes That Do Not Qualify for Shock Probation?

Certain misdemeanor sex crimes might not qualify for shock probation. The judge may order an evaluation by a sex offender treatment program before considering the shock probation motion. For felony sex offenses, the court orders an evaluation if an evaluation has not been completed within the past six months. 

Violent offenders, as defined in Kentucky Revised Statute §439.3401, do not qualify for shock probation. Other felony offenses do not qualify for shock probation. A criminal defense lawyer can review your charges to determine if shock probation could result in a shorter jail term.

Contact the Louisville Criminal Defense Attorneys at Suhre & Associates DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyers For Help Today

For more information, contact the criminal defense attorneys at Suhre & Associates DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyers give us a call today at (502) 371-7000 or visit us at our Louisville law office.

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Suhre & Associates DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyers
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