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

    The Texas Government Code defines parole as the “discretionary and conditional release of an eligible inmate sentenced to the institutional division so that the inmate may serve the remainder of the inmate’s sentence under the supervision of the pardons and paroles division.”  That sentence has many important parts that will be discussed below.

  1. Discretionary:  Offenders are only released if the Board of Pardons reviews their case and cast the necessary votes for release.  This is true for parole and for the vast majority of inmates who are eligible for mandatory supervision.  There is a small number of inmates who are still under the old law that required release under mandatory supervision when certain requirements are met.  For all other offenders the only way out of prison is through completing the sentence, having the conviction removed, or being considered and voted out by the parole board.
  2. Conditional:  If an inmate is released on parole that release is conditioned on following the rules set out by the parole board.  These rules include reporting to a parole officer as directed, not using alcohol or drugs, living at an approved address and numerous other conditions.  If a parolee violates a condition of their parole their parole can be revoked and they could be sent back to prison.
  3. Eligible: Texas law determines when an offender is eligible for release from prison on parole.  For many inmates this is when they have credit for twenty five percent of their sentence and for most of the remaining inmates they must serve, day for day, half of their sentence.  Click here for more information on parole eligibility.
  4. Remainder of the inmate’s sentence: An offender will be supervised in some form until the end of their sentence.  This is calculated by calendar time.  Although good time and work time are relevant for determining parole eligibility that credit is not actual credit towards completing a sentence.  Therefore if you were sentenced to five years and paroled after one year you will have four years to complete on parole before your time’s served.  If your parole is revoked you may or may not receive credit for that time (click here for more information)
  5. Under the supervision of the pardons and paroles division:  If an offender is paroled they will be supervised by parole officers who make sure the offender is in compliance with the rules of their parole and who put in process revocation proceedings if they believe a violation has occurred.

    If you have any further questions about parole in Texas please call our toll free number for a free consultation.  If a friend or family member is going to be considered for parole soon and you are considering hiring an attorney please fill out our secure online contact form and an experienced Texas parole lawyer will call you shortly.  Our offices are in Houston and our parole practice takes us to prison units around the state helping families in Houston, Austin, Dallis, San Antonio, McAllen and many other cities.  We understand this is a difficult time for you and we will do everything we can to help you through this confusing process and to present the parole board with a comprehensive packet in an effort to secure a vote for parole.