The criminal justice system in the State of Texas can be extremely confusing to navigate – especially if you are trying to do so on your own. Given their similarities, people often think that the terms “parole” and “probation” are synonymous with one another. However, in actuality, they have several distinctions which are worth knowing about.
If you are currently pending a criminal charge in the Texas Court System, probation or parole may be potential legal options for your case. However, before you make any important decisions, you must have a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney in your corner advocating for your legal rights every step of the way.
The skilled Texas criminal defense lawyers at The Law Office of David D. White, PLLC, can assist you with every step of your case, explore all of your legal options, and help you make intelligent and informed decisions throughout your legal matter. We can determine if probation or parole might be viable options for you and could help you pursue the best possible result in your criminal case.
For a free case evaluation and legal consultation with a knowledgeable Austin criminal defense lawyer, please reach out to our office directly.
In Texas, probation is a period of supervision that the court orders. In some cases, during plea deal negotiations with state prosecutors, the prosecutor might recommend a term of probation as a concession. This is especially true if the accused is a first-time offender – or if they do not have a significant record of prior convictions.
If a criminal defendant accepts a period of probation, it allows them to remain part of the community rather than spending time in a state prison. When it comes to determining a probationary term for a criminal defendant, judges have significant discretion. The various terms for probation may include any of the following:
The main purpose of probation is to allow certain offenders the opportunity to rehabilitate themselves in the eyes of the court by working in the community and living outside of a detention center.
While a criminal defendant is on probation, they mustn’t commit any new criminal offenses. This alone may constitute a violation of their probation.
Additionally, it is important that the defendant not violate any other terms of their probation and that they report to their assigned probation officer when they are scheduled to do so. An individual who incurs a probation violation can face a whole new set of criminal charges, and it is far less likely that the court will treat their violation case with any favorable leniency.
There are several important differences between probation and parole in the State of Texas. Unlike probation, a period of parole allows an individual who is already an inmate – and someone who has previously served some jail time – the ability to obtain community supervision outside of a detention center for the rest of their criminal sentence.
In cases where an incarcerated individual showed good behavior while in prison, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles may grant the individual a period of parole. If an individual receives parole, then they will need to check in with their parole officer regularly. The parole officer also determines the various requirements that the individual must follow while they are out on parole. Those requirements may include any of the following:
If an individual violates any term of their parole, they will likely face new criminal charges.
Our experienced legal team could determine if you may be eligible for parole or probation in your criminal case and could help you move forward with the process.
Probation and parole in the State of Texas have several differences. First, a jury or judge grants an individual a term of probation, and they have significant discretion when determining the specific probationary terms. On the other hand, a parole board decides whether or not to grant an inmate a period of parole, given their conduct while incarcerated.
Additionally, a judge or jury is most likely to give a criminal defendant probation if the state is charging them with committing certain misdemeanors or low-level felonies. However, an individual who receives a period of parole is already a convicted felon who has previously served a portion of their sentence in jail.
Individuals who are placed on probation have not usually served any jail time. Also, if an individual on probation completes all of their probationary terms without any violations, they may be able to escape the black mark of a conviction on their record.
Our experienced Texas criminal defense lawyers could help you determine if you might be eligible for probation or parole based on the facts and circumstances of your criminal case. We could then help you pursue the appropriate legal option.
If you are currently pending a misdemeanor or felony criminal charge in the Texas Court System, it is important that you have a skilled criminal defense attorney advocating for you at every stage of the proceedings. At The Law Office of David D. White, PLLC, our legal team may be able to assist with all of the following:
If you are currently pending one or more criminal charges, you must have an experienced criminal defense attorney in Texas representing you at every stage of the legal proceedings. It is also important that you have a lawyer present at all legal proceedings in your case. This is because if you show up to court without a lawyer present and advocating for you, a judge does not have to postpone your case. Instead, they could make you proceed forward with your legal matter without having an attorney present on your behalf.
At The Law Office of David D. White, PLLC, our legal team can answer all of your questions and concerns while protecting all of your legal and constitutional rights. We will do everything possible to help you secure a favorable result in your pending criminal case.
For a free case evaluation and legal consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Texas, please call us at 512-886-8428 or contact us online today to learn more.
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