Calculate remission of penalties in French law

In France, the end date of the sentence changes as the sentence is served, thanks to sentence reductions. Its calculation is useful in order to apply for an adjustment of the sentence and therefore for early release.

Easily estimate a release date for a convicted person, based on the Sentence Reduction Credits (Crédit de Réduction de Peine – CRP) and additional sentence reductions (Réduction supplémentaire de la Peine – RSP):

Without waiting for the end of the sentence, we can ask to the Judge different measures of sentence adjustment allowing an early release (conditional release with voluntary release, suspension of sentence for medical reasons, semi-liberty, placement outside or home detention under electronic surveillance… ).

The lawyers from Marcus will advise and assist you in applying for a sentence adjustment.

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Other factors to consider :

In order to accurately calculate the release date, several factors must be taken into account.

For example: the number of RSP assigned, possible withdrawals of remissions, sentence adjustments, etc.

If the person has previously been remanded in custody, the date of committal should be postponed by the same amount.

For example: a person was sentenced on 18/06/2018 to 6 years imprisonment and did 5 months of pre-trial detention. His date of committal to be indicated is 18/01/2018.

On the other hand, if during the pre-trial detention, another sentence was carried out, the duration of the pre-trial detention should not be taken into account for the date of committal.


Crédit de Réduction de Peine (CRP) :

Pursuant to Article 721 of the French Code of Criminal Procedure, the remission of sentence is granted automatically, from the beginning of the execution of the sentence. There is therefore no need to make a request or to justify good behavior in detention.

However, this credit may be withdrawn in whole or in part:

  • By Judge (JAP) in case of misconduct ;
  • By the trial court in the event of a new custodial sentence for a felony or misdemeanor committed after release for a period equal to the duration of the sentence reduction credit that the convicted person received.

Warning: persons convicted of an act of terrorism do not benefit from any sentence reduction credit (except for crimes related to provocation to terrorism or its apology).

Réductions Supplémentaires de la Peine (RSP) :

Pursuant to Article 721-1 of the French Code of Criminal Procedure, a convicted person who makes serious efforts at social rehabilitation may benefit from an additional remission. These additional remission are in addition to the sentence reduction credit.

For example: obtaining a school, university or professional diploma, followed by therapy, compensation for victims, etc.

The convicted person or his attorney may make a request to the Judge on which his place of imprisonment depends.

Even in the absence of an application, the Judge will consider the possibility of granting a further reduction of the sentence at least once a year.

An appeal may be filed against a decision of the judge deciding on further reductions in sentence within 24 hours.


Parole (Libération conditionnelle) :

Parole allows for the early release of people who are making serious efforts to reintegrate into society.

For example, it is appropriate to justify :

  • Future employment or training;
  • Participation in family life;
  • The need to undergo medical treatment;
  • Efforts to compensate victims;
  • Involvement in any other serious reintegration project.
  • Parole can be granted as soon as the remaining sentence is equal to half of the sentence to be served.

Parolee can be granted as soon as the remaining sentence is equal to half of the sentence to be served.

In the case of a life sentence, the request can be made after 18 years or 22 years in the case of a repeat offence.

In the case of a conviction with a security period, an application for parole cannot be made until the security period has expired.

Exceptions are provided for:

  • For convicted persons over 70 years of age;
  • Parents of a child who exercise parental authority and with whom the child has his or her habitual residence ;
  • Convicted women who are pregnant for more than 12 weeks;
  • Convicted persons who have had their sentences suspended for medical reasons.

Finally, if granted, conditional release will establish a socio-judicial follow-up with various obligations for the time remaining.

Probationary measures at conditional release :

In the case of a serious reintegration project, convicted persons can benefit from probationary measures up to 1 year before the halfway point of their sentence.

This probationary measure takes the form of home detention under electronic surveillance (electronic bracelet) with different obligations on the day and time of release defined by the judge.

It can also take the form of semi-liberty or placement on the outside.

Release under duress :

In the absence of conditional release, convicted persons can benefit from the release under duress allowing early release, under certain conditions.

Conditional release is granted in the presence of guarantees of representation and absence of risk of recidivism.

Only persons sentenced to a term of less than 5 years and having already served 2/3 of the sentence can benefit from it.

The release under constraint can take the following different forms:

  • Conditional release (with different obligations);
  • Semi-liberty (the convicted person is free during the day and must sleep in prison);
  • Home detention under electronic bracelet (with fixed hours);
  • Placement on the outside (e.g. on an integration site).

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