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Parole vs Probation

Photo: NBC News

O.J. Simpson is back in the legal news with his parole hearing taking place on June 20th. Everything I have read seems to indicate the juice will once again be loose. Often people who are unfamiliar with the criminal justice system confuse parole with probation. In Texas probation and parole have some similarities but are very different.

Parole in Texas is a remedy to release a person who is incarcerated prior to the expiration of a prison sentence he or she may receive. Criminal offenses are divided into three categories for purposes of parole – no parole, half time and quarter time.

There are certain offenses in Texas that carry a possible sentence without the possibility of parole. Capital Murder, where the death penalty is waived and continuous sexual abuse of a child are two examples of offense for which a prisoner if convicted cannot receive parole under the current state of the law.

The 42.12 section 3g of the Code of Criminal Procedure covers offenses for which if a person is convicted is not eligible for parole until half the sentence is served. Aggravated offenses, many sex related offenses and offenses involving a deadly weapon fall into this category.

The third category of offenses falls into the quarter time eligibility for parole. It isn’t actually a quarter of the sentence. The computation is when a prisoner’s actual time served plus any good credit he or she may receive while in prison when that figure equals ¼ of the sentence they are legally eligible for parole. Thefts, burglary, drug offenses are examples that might fall into this last category.

Probation is an alternative to incarceration. Probation typically falls into two categories. Deferred adjudication and community supervision or straight probation. If a person receives deferred adjudication they have the ability to not have a conviction on their record, however, if they fail to complete the deferred probation they are subject to the full range of punishment should they fail to complete probation.

Straight probation results in a final conviction upon a plea of guilty or a conviction by a jury. Their sentence is capped on the front end should they not complete the probation.

If you or a loved one has been charged with an offense, it is important to consult an experienced Tarrant County defense attorney.

The team of attorneys at Tarrant County based Townsend, Gebhardt, & Eppes, PLLC are former state prosecutors. They possess the skill and experience to build the strongest defense on your behalf. Contact Townsend, Gebhardt, & Eppes, PLLC at (817) 502-3600 for a free initial consultation.

Townsend, Gebhardt, & Eppes, PLLC strongly defend individuals throughout the greater Fort Worth area, including Arlington, Weatherford, Cleburne, and many surrounding communities.

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