Flat Time Law & Legal Definition


When used in the context of prisoners, the term ‘flat time’ refers to the prison term that is to be served by a prisoner without the benefit of good time credit and the like.

While serving a flat-time sentence, the prisoner is not eligible for suspension, commutation of sentence, probation, pardon, parole, work furlough, or release on any basis, until s/he has served the entire sentence imposed by the court. [State v. Behl, 160 Ariz. 527, 528 (Ariz. Ct. App. 1989)].

The following is an example of a case law referring to the term:

The trial court sentenced West to 10 years, the statutory maximum, and indicated on the judgment and sentence, “‘defendant stipulates to flat time—no earned early release.’ ” [State v. Reanier, 157 Wn. App. 194, 210 (Wash. Ct. App. 2010)].