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If you or a loved one are currently incarcerated in a federal prison, you may be wondering if you qualify for good time credit that can reduce your overall sentence. Getting time reduced from your sentence is understandably an important goal, as it means getting released from prison sooner. This guide covers the basics of federal good time credit, eligibility requirements, how credits are calculated, and tips to ensure you receive all the credits you qualify for.

What is Federal Good Time Credit?

Good time credit, often referred to as "good conduct time", is a sentencing reduction incentive for federal inmates who demonstrate good behavior while incarcerated. For every year you serve in federal prison without any disciplinary issues, you can earn up to 54 days of good conduct time. This good time is deducted from your overall sentence, allowing well-behaved inmates to shorten their sentence.

Who is Eligible for Good Time Credit?

The good news is that the majority of federal inmates are eligible to earn good conduct time while incarcerated. As of the First Step Act signed into law in 2018, only federal inmates sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole are excluded from earning credits.

How Are Good Time Credits Calculated?

Federal inmates can earn up to 54 days of good conduct time for every year served. This comes out to about 15% of each year you serve deducted from your total sentence for staying disciplinary-free. For example, an inmate with a 10 year sentence could earn up to 540 days deducted, reducing their required time down to about 8.5 years.

Tips to Receive Your Earned Good Time Credits

Because good time credits rely fully on good behavior, following all prison rules is essential to earning your sentence reduction. Here are tips to help ensure you receive all the credit you qualify for:

• Avoid any disciplinary infractions - Any type of violation of prison rules can lead to lost good conduct time or make you ineligible.

• Display model inmate behavior - Don't do anything that might land you in any type of special housing unit.

• Enroll in rehabilitation programs - Taking part in eligible prison programs demonstrates your commitment to self-improvement.

• Communicate respectfully with staff - Build positive relationships with those who monitor your behavior.

Understanding Federal Good Time Policies

Policies regarding good time credits in the federal prison system changed under the First Step Act. Make sure to understand the updated statutes around earned time deductions to ensure the time credited against your sentence is calculated properly. If anything seems inconsistent with what you qualify for, don't hesitate to speak to an attorney.

As you serve your federal sentence, keeping up good behavior and qualifying for good conduct credits is one way to reduce the years you ultimately spend behind bars. Being awarded your earned good time allows you to reunite with your family and restart your life sooner while still serving your requited sentence. Consider speaking with a criminal law attorney if you need assistance ensuring you receive all eligible good time credit.


Contact Us Today

If you or your incarcerated loved one have questions about applying good conduct time to a federal sentence, contact knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys at Katsarelis Law today. Our team stays up to date on the latest Bureau of Prisons and sentencing guidelines to advise clients on good time credit eligibility. Don't leave sentence reductions on the table - call Katsarelis Law at (520) 510-0439 for professional support.

In the realm of criminal defense, few legal strategies capture public attention quite like the insanity defense. We recognize the importance of understanding this complex legal concept and thus, we'll unravel the intricacies of the insanity defense, shedding light on its role in criminal law and how an experienced team can navigate its complexities to defend your rights.


Understanding the Insanity Defense

The insanity defense is a legal strategy that asserts a defendant's mental state at the time of the alleged crime rendered them incapable of understanding the wrongfulness of their actions. In other words, it acknowledges the act but questions the defendant's culpability due to mental illness or incapacity.


Key Components of the Insanity Defense:

  1. M'Naghten Rule: Often used in the United States, this rule states that a defendant is legally insane if, at the time of the crime, they were unable to distinguish between right and wrong due to a severe mental disorder.


  1. Irresistible Impulse Test: This approach focuses on whether the defendant had the ability to control their actions, arguing that an irresistible impulse caused by mental illness led to the criminal act.


  1. Durham Rule: This broader standard asserts that a defendant is not criminally responsible if the unlawful act was the product of mental disease or defect.


  1. Model Penal Code: Some jurisdictions follow the Model Penal Code's guidelines, which emphasize cognitive and volitional impairments, requiring both an inability to understand the criminality of the act and an inability to conform behavior to the law.


How Criminal Defense Attorneys Approach Insanity Defense:

Defense attorneys approach the defense with sensitivity, expertise, and a commitment to defending your rights. Here's how attorneys can navigate the complexities of the insanity defense:


  1. Expert Evaluation: Firms can collaborate with mental health professionals to conduct thorough evaluations, ensuring an accurate understanding of the defendant's mental state at the time of the alleged crime.


  1. Legal Strategy Craftsmanship: Criminal defense attorneys craft a comprehensive legal strategy that aligns with the chosen standard for the insanity defense, presenting a compelling case for the defendant's lack of criminal responsibility.


  1. Prosecution Negotiation: In some cases, a strong insanity defense can lead to negotiations with the prosecution for reduced charges or alternative sentencing options.


  1. Courtroom Advocacy: If the case proceeds to trial, litigators are prepared to present a defense, incorporating expert testimony and compelling arguments in support of the defense.


In the complex landscape of criminal law, understanding the insanity defense is pivotal for building a robust defense strategy. At Katsarelis Law, your dedicated Tucson criminal defense attorney, we are committed to protecting your rights and securing the best possible outcome for your case. 


If you're facing criminal charges and believe the this defense may apply, contact us for a consultation. Let us navigate the legal complexities for you, utilizing our expertise to build a strong defense. Reach out to Katsarelis Law today – your trusted partner in criminal defense.


Navigating the intricacies of criminal law can be daunting, especially when it comes to legal terminologies. In this post, we'll unravel the concept of affirmative defenses, shedding light on how they play a crucial role in criminal law and how our experienced criminal defense attorneys can employ them to protect your rights.


Understanding Affirmative Defenses

An affirmative defense in criminal law is a legal strategy employed by the defense to counteract or mitigate the legal consequences of the charges brought against the accused. Unlike general defenses that refute elements of the prosecution's case, affirmative defenses require the defendant to present evidence supporting their claims.


Common Affirmative Defenses

  1. Self-Defense: A defendant may argue that their actions were in response to a threat of imminent harm, asserting their right to protect themselves or others.


  1. Insanity: This defense argues that the defendant, due to a mental disorder, was incapable of understanding the consequences of their actions at the time of the alleged offense.


  1. Duress: A defendant may claim that they committed the crime under threat or coercion, asserting that they had no reasonable choice but to act unlawfully.


  1. Necessity: This defense argues that the defendant committed the crime to prevent a greater harm, such as saving someone's life or preventing serious injury.


  1. Entrapment: If law enforcement induced the defendant to commit a crime they wouldn't have otherwise committed, the defense may argue entrapment.


How affirmative defenses are leveraged


As your trusted criminal defense attorney in Tucson, Katsarelis Law has a deep understanding of how to leverage affirmative defenses to protect our clients. Our experienced legal team meticulously examines the details of each case, identifying opportunities to assert affirmative defenses that align with the circumstances.


  1. Thorough Case Analysis: We leave no stone unturned, conducting a comprehensive analysis of the evidence and circumstances surrounding your case to identify potential affirmative defenses.


  1. Expert Legal Strategy: Our criminal defense attorneys craft personalized legal strategies tailored to the specifics of your case, presenting compelling arguments in support of affirmative defenses.


  1. Skilled Negotiation: In many cases, presenting a strong affirmative defense can lead to favorable plea negotiations or even the dismissal of charges.


  1. Vigorous Courtroom Representation: If your case goes to trial, our litigators are well-prepared to vigorously present and defend affirmative defenses in the courtroom.


In the complex realm of criminal law, understanding affirmative defenses is crucial for building a robust defense strategy. At Katsarelis Law, your dedicated Tucson criminal defense attorney, we are committed to protecting your rights and securing the best possible outcome for your case. If you're facing criminal charges, don't hesitate to reach out for a consultation.


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