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What is Supervised Release in Federal Cases?

by | Nov 7, 2018 | Criminal Defense, Criminal Procedure, Federal Crimes

Are you or someone you love facing federal charges in Dallas or anywhere else in Texas? If so, it’s important that you know that federal charges are separate from state charges. Generally, a person can break a state law or a federal law and if a federal law is broken, the individual is prosecuted in federal court.

Occasionally, someone will break a law that is illegal under the Texas Penal Code and a federal law. In these situations, the state and federal prosecutors will decide whether to prosecute the individual in state or federal court. As a general rule though, federal prosecutions are not only more serious than state prosecutions, the penalties are harsher.

What is Supervised Release?

You may be familiar with the state system where parole boards will grant someone early release; however, in the federal system, federal courts order “supervised release” when a defendant is sentenced. But is supervised release mandatory?

Generally, a federal court is not required to order supervised release but under the federal sentencing guidelines, supervised release is recommended in felony cases. A felony case typically involves a prison term that’s longer than a year.

In some cases, the federal courts do have to order supervised release. It is mandatory in cases involving kidnapped children, and certain sex and drug offenses among others.

“How long is supervised release in a federal case?” It depends because the length of the term is at the discretion of the judge, providing he or she does not order it for longer than the maximum term allowed by law.

  • The maximum term of supervised release for felonies is 5 years.
  • The maximum term for less serious felonies is 3 years.
  • Certain serious crimes do impose a minimum period of supervised release, such as kidnapping a child etc.

Facing federal charges? Contact our firm to meet with Dallas Federal Criminal Attorney, Peter Barrett. Call (214) 307-8667.