parole

What is the Difference Between Probation and Parole?

By Peek & Toland on November 1, 2019

Both probation and parole allow individuals convicted of a crime to remain living in their communities instead of serving time in jail or prison. Violations of the conditions of probation or parole can both result in individuals being incarcerated. However, probation and parole are distinct programs that may go into effect at different stages of a sentence for a criminal offense.

Probation is an alternative to jail or prison that a court may order as part of a sentence for a criminal conviction. While individuals are on probation, they can remain living at home as long as they comply with specific terms and conditions that the court sets. While conditions of probation differ from one case to the next, some common conditions of probation may include:

  • Working or going to school
  • Submitting to regular drug tests and refraining from drug and alcohol use
  • Following all laws
  • Meeting with a probation officer regularly

Probation can occur in many types of criminal cases, but it is a popular option for individuals who have little or no previous criminal history. Probation also may be available for those who have committed relatively low-level or minor criminal offenses. Once individuals complete probation, they have served their sentences, and they are no longer subject to any oversight by the court.

What is the Difference Between Probation and Parole?

Parole, on the other hand, is early release from prison for individuals who already have served some time in prison following a criminal conviction. When individuals are released on parole, they also are subject to specific terms and conditions that they must follow or risk returning to prison. In most cases, parole is granted to individuals who have exhibited good behavior while in prison. Parole can help relieve congestion at prisons and allow individuals to integrate back into society from prison more gradually.

If you or a family member is facing accusations of drug trafficking or any other criminal charges, we may be able to help. As experienced Texas criminal defense attorneys, we have the knowledge needed to help you navigate through often-complex criminal proceedings. Call us today at (512) 474-4445 and schedule an appointment with one of our criminal defense lawyers and learn how we can assist you.

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Parole and Probation Violators Make Up Bulk of Prison Population

By Peek & Toland on September 8, 2019

Parole and probation programs are designed to offer alternatives to incarceration by allowing them to serve sentences for criminal convictions outside of jail or prison walls. According to a report by the Council of State Governments Justice Center (CSG), a large portion of prison inmates are incarcerated due to probation or parole violations, either due to technical violations or new offenses. This disappointing data undermines the premise of probation and parole in general.

The report states that 45% of state prison admissions across the country are based on parole or probation violations, whether for new offenses or technical violations. As many as one-third of these violations are due to technical violations, although others are far more serious, such as violations for committing new crimes. Some examples of technical violations include failing drug tests, being around others with criminal records, and being out past curfew.

Parole and Probation Violators Make Up Bulk of Prison Population

Overall, nearly one in every four inmates, or 280,000, are incarcerated for these violations on any given day. In 13 different states, more than one in three people are incarcerated due to supervision violations daily. In the state of Texas, about 16% of the incarcerated population is due to probation or parole violations on any given day, or just under 23,000 people.

The total proportion of state prison admissions based on supervision violations in 20 states is over 50%. Texas is only slightly below that mark, coming in at 47%. These statistics show that half the prison admissions in half the country are solely due to parole or probation violations, which is a high cost to society. Based on this report, the costs of incarcerating these individuals top $9.3 billion annually. If you or a family member is facing any criminal charges, we may be able to help. As experienced Texas criminal defense attorneys, we have the knowledge needed to help you navigate through often-complex criminal proceedings. Call us today at (512) 474-4445 and schedule an appointment with one of our criminal defense lawyers and learn how we can assist you.

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What Does the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles Do?

By Peek & Toland on January 1, 2019

The role of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles is to decide which eligible offenders should be released from prison to parole or another type of mandatory supervision. They use a set of guidelines to evaluate each offender’s likelihood of success if granted parole and weigh that likelihood to the risk to society if the offender is released.

If an offender who has been released violates the terms of his or her parole, the Board decides what measures to take. These measures may include revoking the offender’s parole and sending him or her back to prison, imposing more or different conditions on the offender’s parole, placing the offender in a different type of facility

What Does the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles Do?


The Board also makes recommendations on clemency matters to the Governor. This includes making recommendations about requests for pardons. The Governor can issue a pardon with the written recommendation of a majority of the Board. Options can include full pardons following a conviction or completion of a deferred adjudication community supervision program, conditional pardons, and commutation of sentences. In death penalty cases, the Governor can grant one 30-day reprieve to the individual without the recommendations of the Board. If the Board and Governor wish to grant clemency in a death penalty case, then the sentence of the offender will be commuted from death to life in prison.

A pardon restores some, but not all, citizenship rights to the individual. Specifically, following a pardon issued by the Governor, the individual can hold public office, serve on a jury, and serve as the executor or administrator of an estate. However, a pardon will not allow the individual to become eligible to serve as a peace officer, and the individual still may be barred from certain types of professional licenses. State licensing boards for each profession determine the suitability and eligibility of individuals who apply for licenses and it is up to their discretion whether to grant the application for licensing.

An experienced Texas criminal defense attorney can help you build a strong defense against any criminal charges, as well as educate you about your rights and responsibilities before the Texas Board of Pardons and Parole. We are here to evaluate the facts surrounding your case, present your options, and help you make the decisions that will be most beneficial to you, based on your circumstances. Contact Peek & Toland at (512) 474-4445 today and see how we can help.

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