Particularly for first-time offenders, the world of parole law can be confusing. The Levinson Law Firm is here to guide you through the process. To start with, here are some answers to common questions. Please feel free to contact me with additional questions you may have.
Frequently asked questions
What is the Parole Board?
Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles decides which eligible offenders to release on parole or mandatory supervision, and under what conditions. The Parole Board is actually comprised of 7 offices throughout the state of Texas. The Parole Board offices votes on cases from prison units that are assigned to them. Each office has three voters comprised of 1 Board Member and 2 Parole Commissioners.
Where are the Parole Boards located?
How long before the Parole Eligibility Date should I hire an attorney?
Ideally, 6 to 12 months before a review date is preferred. This allows me plenty of time to schedule a visit with the offender, order records, schedule consulting experts (if necessary), and prepare the case for review. However, I have often prepared cases in less time that that.
How soon can the Parole Board vote a case?
The Parole Board can vote a case up to 2 months early. It is for that reason that
getting an attorney earlier is preferred to get the case ready.
If parole is denied, how long will the offender have to wait for a subsequent
In general, offenders are reviewed annually in the event their parole is denied. This is called a “set-off”.
However, offenders serving offenses under Texas Government Code 508.149 (a) or a second or third degree felony under Section 22.04 of the Penal Code can be set-off up to 5 years.
These offenses are:
Aggravated Assault, 1st or 2nd Degree
Aggravated Kidnapping, 1st or 2nd Degree
Aggravated Robbery, 1st Degree
Aggravated Sexual Assault, 1st Degree
Any Offense with an Affirmative Finding of a Deadly Weapon
Arson, 1st Degree
Burglary, 1st Degree
Continuous Sex Abuse of a Young Child or Person
Indecency with a Child by Contact
Injury to a Child, Elderly or Disabled Individual
Murder, 1st or 2nd Degre
Robbery, 2nd Degree
Sexual Performance by a Child
Trafficking of Persons
Offenders serving a sentence for an offense under 22.021 (Aggravated Sexual
Assault) or a life sentence for a capital felony can receive up to a 10 year set off.
Do you really visit all of your clients in-person?
Absolutely, I have never represented a client before the Parole Board that I did not meet with personally and conduct an interview.
Would you want your doctor to diagnose you over the phone? Of course not. I feel the same way about representing my clients. Personal interaction is vital to the attorney-client relationship.
Do you really go to the Parole Board in-person?
Yes, I request an in-person appointment with the lead voter on every case. I prefer to meet the voter in their office and present my client’s case. I find that face to face meetings allow for clearer communication. They also allow for deeper conversations, the ability to establish rapport, and usually result in greater exchanges of thoughts and ideas. There simply is no substitute to a face-to-face meeting.
Does the offender get to meet the Parole Board?
Unfortunately, in most circumstances the voters do not meet with offenders prior to voting on their cases. For that reason, having an experienced attorney appear before the Board in person is crucial to explaining their side of the story and presenting a thoughtful and persuasive presentation on their behalf.
Can a family member or friend come to the Parole Board meeting with you?
I encourage family members to accompany me to the hearing. A family member’s input and insight into an offender’s case can be quite compelling and beneficial to the presentation.
What is a Blue Warrant and can I get post bond for it?
A Blue Warrant is a warrant that is issued to an offender on parole (or mandatory supervision) who is accused of violating one or more terms of their release. A Blue Warrant is a no-bail warrant, meaning that you cannot post a bond. There are very limited circumstances where a blue warrant can be lifted. If the offender is accused of a new criminal offense while on supervision, then there is no method to post bond on the blue warrant. The bond will remain in effect until the Parole Board issues a ruling after a Revocation Hearing.