Early Termination of Federal Supervised ReleaseMay 29, 2013
If you’re reading this, you’re probably on federal supervised release and want to see if you can get it terminated early.
Since you’ve been through the federal criminal justice system, you know full well that nothing in the federal system is quick or easy. There are a lot of misconceptions about early termination of federal supervised release, here’s what you need to know about the process.
YOU NEED TO BE ON SUPERVISED RELEASE FOR AT LEAST ONE YEAR
Have you been on supervised release for at least one year? If not, you need to wait until at least one year has passed before filing your motion for early termination. That is a hard and fast rule. See 18 USC 3583(e)(1).
WHAT IS YOUR PROBATION OFFICER’S POSITION?
What does your USPO think of you getting off probation early? The USPO’s recommendation carries a lot of weight in these situations. After all, your probation officer is the one who has been dealing with you the most. The judge and the AUSA probably have not seen nor thought about you in years. If the USPO is going to object to your motion, you are probably going to have an uphill battle convincing the judge to terminate early.
Even if your USPO won’t affirmatively recommend early termination of supervised release, at the very least if they agree to “not object” to your motion, you should be OK.
WHAT IS THE AUSA’S POSITION?
If the Assistant United States Attorney assigned to your case is against your early termination, you will need to deal with this head on. The best thing you can hope for is an AUSA who says “I don’t care one way or the other.”
Before I draft a motion, I contact the AUSA in an effort to get a sense of their position and try to address any concerns. Even if they are dead set on opposing, I can still get a sense of where they’re coming from and address it when I draft the motion.
HERE’S WHAT THE COURT CONSIDERS
Aside from checking that you’ve been on supervised release for at least a year, the judge is then required to consider the following factors when deciding whether or not to terminate supervised release early:
1) The nature and circumstances of the offense for which you were convicted as well as any relevant conduct.
2) Your criminal history and your social history.
3) Whether or not you’ve been sufficiently punished to deter future criminal conduct.
4) Whether or not the public is protected from your further criminal conduct.
5) Whether or not you’ve been provided with sufficient education or job training, health care (mental health treatment) or other services.
6) How you were sentenced under the federal sentencing guidelines.
7) Any relevant “policy statements” made by the United States Sentencing Commission regarding sentencing in a case such as yours or regarding supervised release in general.
8) Whether or not you’ve paid restitution to the victims of the offense.
Not all of these factors may apply to your case, but the ones that do apply need to be addressed.
WHAT ARE YOUR CHANCES?
It depends. Federal judges have wide discretion to grant or deny early termination of supervised release. You most likely won’t even get a hearing; the judges usually just read the briefs and issue a ruling with little or no explanation one way or the other. But if you read this and want to give it a shot, feel free to call me.
I’ll talk to you about your and give you an honest assessment if I think it’s worth doing. I don’t charge for the consultation and will give you an honest assessment.
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