Virginia  |  Criminal Law

Legal Question

Asked on: 7/30/10, 7:09 pm

how much time of a 3 yr sentence will someone have to serve in a state prison in virginia, what are the laws, i've heard a couple different things some say you have to pull like 85% which i believe would be like 2 1/2 yrs, then others say they are trying to pass a law that you only have to pull 65%, i would like to know where that law stands and which one is the bases they go by for release, the situation is my girlfriend was on probation from charges back in early 2000 and she's had a few violations but has pulled her time, she got another violation after 6 yrs without any violations or anything, at her revocation hearing they revoked her probation because of a pos drug screen at docket call, she has been in jail since july 15th and the judge gave her 3 yrs, also how do they compute time served in a county jail do you still get the 2 for 1 credit up till u get sent to the prison or how does that work, what would her projected time that she has to serve be, i've looked everywhere and can't find an answer that doesn't get contradicted with another answer

2 Answers


Answered on: 8/04/10, 8:43 pm by Michael E. Hendrickson

Since January 1, 1995 when parole was eliminated from the Virginia criminal justice system, it is my understanding that those defendants who receive and serve a penitentiary sentence (a year or more), serve approximately 85-88% of their sentences imposed, the reduction being attributed to so called "good time" accumulated.

As for how local jails compute the time to be served by an inmate with a penitentiary sentence, the inmate should check with the jail authorities on

that particular issue once incarcerated.


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Answered on: 8/05/10, 6:29 am by Michael Sprano

She'll serve 86.5% of 3 years, assuming credit for good time. For felony time, it does not matter whether an inmate is housed in DOC, a local jail, or a combination of the two. The computation of time is going to be exactly the same.

The 2-for-1 credit you referred to only applies for misdemeanor time calculated by the local jail. Things can get a little more complicated when an inmate receives enough misdemeanor time to be classified as a DOC prisoner, but that does not apply here.

"The General Assembly is going to pass a law requiring that non-violent felons only serve 65%", or some version of that, is a jail-house rumor that refuses to die. Every year I receive 1 or 2 calls from inmates telling me they heard that and asking me if it is true. It is not. Politicians do not campaign for re-election by bragging about how many convicted felons they let out of prison early.


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