Seth Topek
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Criminal Defense Attorney: Defending the Rights of the Accused and the Incarcerated

    The Texas parole process can be confusing and overwhelming for families trying to help Texas offenders with parole.  It is hard to figure out who decides, when they decide, how they decide and what they can do to help.  I hope to answer some of those questions by providing a general outline in a series of blog posts.

    We are often called by family members shortly after a loved one has been incarcerated.  They want to know if there is any way for an offender to be paroled early.  In Texas there is not a way for an offender to be paroled before their parole eligibility date.  

    Texas law has rules for when an offender can be paroled.  The date is called the “parole eligibility date.”  The eligibility date is also a good estimate for when the Texas Parole Board will review an offender’s case and make a decision about whether to grant parole.  

    A large part of the parole process occurs before the board makes its decision.  An offender enters the parole process roughly six months before their eligibility date.  The Institutional Parole Officer does not have a vote they do play an important role in the parole review process by compiling information that the board will use when making a decision.  The IPO reviews all the documents related to the offense, criminal history, personal history and will interview the offender.

    When the file is received by the regional parole office it is assigned to a lead voter.  The lead voter reviews the information provided to them by the IPO and information provided by an attorney or the family in support of parole.  If we are representing an offender we request an in person interview with the lead voter and the majority of parole board members and commissioners grant that request.  The lead voter will then make a decision.  In order for the decision to be final there must be two out of three votes.

    If you have further questions about parole in Texas please download our free information booklet about parole.  For a free consultation with an experienced Texas Parole Lawyer call us on our toll free number 888-661-5030 or fill out an online contact form.  It is our belief that having a Texas parole lawyer can help.  We have a great deal of experience with the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles and the laws that govern their decisions.  Our offices are in Houston and we practice parole law in Dallas, parole law in Austin, Parole law in McAllen and in various other cities around the state of Texas.

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