Different Types of Parole Violations in Texas
- November 15, 2017
- Parole, Parole Violation & Revocation Defense
- The Law Office of Greg Tsioros
- Comments Off on Different Types of Parole Violations in Texas
Parole, or community supervision in Texas, involves conditional release from incarceration. Violating any of the conditions of your release can mean a return to prison. The way to avoid re-incarceration is to successfully explain to the members of the Parole Board that you’re not a danger or risk to society.
Understanding the different types of parole violations in Texas can help you or someone you care about if you’re at risk of parole revocation. It’s important to take any violation of parole very seriously: don’t sign paperwork in which you acknowledge a parole violation without consulting an experienced Texas parole attorney. Never waive your rights to a hearing if you’re accused of a parole violation. You might be returned to prison.
This post can help you to better understand your rights. When you served time in prison, you had few rights and no liberty. Now that you’re out of prison on probation, the U.S. Constitution affords you the right to due process. If you have been accused of violating parole, consult with a parole revocation defense attorney to protect yourself.
Receiving Community Supervision is an Accomplishment in Texas
After the offender is released to community supervision in Texas, he or she must maintain an ongoing commitment to maintain the terms and conditions (T&Cs) established. Failure to carefully follow these T&Cs may result in revocation of parole, re-arrest, and return to prison.
An experienced Texas parole defense attorney can help you to successfully complete the community supervision period and move on with the rest of your life. He can best explain the limitations and affirmative requirements the parolee must respect and counsel you or someone you love about the best steps to take to maximize your chance of success.
Examples of Community Supervision T&Cs
After the offender is granted parole, he or she must sign a contract acknowledging the acceptance of the T&Cs imposed by the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles. Terms differ between cases, but several conditions are commonly present for many, including:
- The parolee must pay supervision fees on time and as agreed
- He or she must reside in a designated place/county
- He or she must submit to regular controlled substance abuse tests
- If a victim was involved in the offense, he or she must agree to no contact
In addition to general T&Cs, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles may impose individual requirements. If the parolee refuses to comply with any of the requirements, his or her parole may be rescinded. The Board may require:
- Psychological counseling
- Substance abuse treatment
- Mandatory education
- Community service
- Electronic monitoring
- Payment of restitution to victim(s)
- Prohibition against Internet access (certain sex offenders)
- Required sex offender registration (certain sex offenders)
- Adherence to establishment of certain child safety zones (certain sex offenders)
Types of Parole Violations in Texas
There are two primary types of parole violations: 1) violations of the law and 2) administrative violations. Many parolees face combined violations. Know that your parole can be revoked for either violation type.
One of the standard conditions of parole is to abide by the laws. You can’t violate any local, state, or federal laws on probation. If you’re accused of a legal violation, you may not get a hearing until the charge is resolved by plea, dismissal, or trial.
An administrative violation may involve failure to report a change in residence or to appear for meetings with your community supervision officer. Failure to pay restitution or court fees, or having a positive test for drugs will count as an administrative violation.
New criminal convictions during the community supervision period
An arrest for a new violation, misdemeanor, felony, offense, or even a motor vehicle matter may be considered a technical violation of community supervision. This type of violation is considered the most serious and can result in the offender’s return to prison.
A failed drug test can also be considered a more serious type of parole violation. The parolee’s possession of drugs, when his or her community supervision T&Cs forbid it, is considered a crime. That’s why a positive drug test establishes proof that the defendant committed a crime. In addition, some actions the defendant may take while under the influence of drugs could provide the basis for additional charges, such as driving under the influence (DUI).
Texas Parole Revocation Procedure
If the parolee is accused of revoking the T&Cs of his or her community supervision, the allegation(s) must be served within 10 days of arrest:
- The revocation hearing is typically held within 10 days of the service of allegations.
- If the new offense involves a felony punishable with new jail time, a limited hearing is available for the inmate to explain why the Parole Board should not revoke current community supervision.
- A blue warrant is a parole revocation warrant that’s often executed without prior notice. Once issued, the parolee faces arrest and custody.
- The parolee shouldn’t waive any rights and should immediately communicate his or her desire for the preliminary and final revocation hearings to which he or she is entitled.
- The parolee must inform the parole division that he or she is advised against discussing his or her case or waiving any of his or her available constitutional rights.
When Parole Goes Wrong
Some parolees get into potential trouble by failing to meet the terms and conditions of their community supervision. For instance, failing to take a mandatory drug or alcohol test, failure to attend required AA meetings or anger management therapy, inability to keep a job, operating a car or truck without a breathalyzer installed, visiting certain counties without prior written permission, visiting specific people, going to a certain place (e.g. a school or playground when your T&Cs forbid it), failure to attend the re-entry or work program, violating your curfew, or failing to go back to the halfway house over a period of time can result in violations of parole.
When your community supervision officer believes you violated any of the T&Cs of your parole, he or she may issue a blue warrant to arrest you. When that happens, you’ll be escorted to a county jail and prompted to decide if you want a parole revocation hearing or waive your rights to a hearing.
Understand that after you have a parole violation on the record, it’s much more difficult to get parole if you’re eligible for it in the future. Don’t give up your freedom without a fight. Don’t waive any of your rights.
Answer these questions:
- Did your community supervision officer make a mistake, or did you violate probation?
- Were you completely compliant until you made this single probation error?
- Was it impossible for you to keep any of the T&Cs of your parole for any reason?
- Did your community supervision officer find problems with you?
It may be possible to rectify the situation. Although things are difficult now, don’t give up. Call an experienced Texas parole defense lawyer now. He may be able to intervene by contacting the community supervision officer now before a revocation hearing is scheduled. If it’s already in process, you need a knowledgeable parole attorney to represent you at the hearing.
Right to a Hearing before the Texas Parole Board
Parolees have the right to a hearing before the Parole Board, or before a designated agent, to evaluate the evidence concerning a possible parole violation. A guilty plea or subsequent conviction is enough to qualify as a violation of parole, but the parolee may still ask for a hearing to present his or her side of the story and/or mitigating circumstances.
The parolee can present his or her side of the story to the Texas Parole Board
The parolee can either 1) accept or acknowledge the community supervision violation and realize that he or she is likely to be incarcerated, or 2) build a defense to the alleged violation. For example:
- If the parolee is accused of failing to report to the community supervision officer, provide proof that transportation to the office wasn’t available on the date in question.
- If the parolee works and had to make a decision to either a) lose the job or b) miss the office appointment, provide proof of employment.
- If the parolee has an addiction problem that creates the potential for future violations, he or she can begin to regularly attend Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous. He or she can discuss the request for treatment assistance with the community supervision officer. In that way, he or she establishes an argument that attempts to comply with T&Cs were made.
Each type of term or condition has possible defensive arguments that may be constructed with the assistance of a qualified parole defense attorney.
After the Parole Board or agent finds that a violation of parole has occurred, it may proceed with one of several actions:
- The Parole Board or agent can modify parole by adding new conditions.
- The Parole Board of agent may require the parolee to be taken into jail supervision for 60 – 180 days.
- The Parole Board or agent may move to revoke community supervision and return the inmate to incarceration for the remainder of the sentence, with no time credit given for the period of community supervision release. In that case, the offender is still eligible for consideration of parole in the future.
A parole officer may attempt to persuade the parolee that he or she should agree to waive his or her constitutional rights to a parole revocation hearing:
- The community supervision officer may tell the parolee that, if he or she waives the right to preliminary a revocation hearings, the officer will submit favorable recommendations of him or her to the Parole Board; or if the officer tells the parolee that he or she won’t have probation revoked; or if the officer says the parolee will be sent to an Intermediate Sanction Facility (ISF) or to a Substance Abuse Felony Punishment Facility (SAFP); or if the officer tells the parolee that, by waiving his or her rights, he or she will start earning positive credit faster and get out of jail faster.
- None of these suggestions or “promises” is true.
- Texas Government Code 508.254 provides that an individual subject to a warrant “may” be held in custody “pending the determination of facts of the alleged offense,” etc.
- The parolee may be eligible for bail on a blue warrant, however, the Parole Division must know that the parolee hasn’t been convicted of a prior offense (Tex. Penal Code, Chapter 29) or an offense under Title 5 of the Tex. Penal Code (punishable as a felony), or an offense that involved family violence (Tex. Family Code, Section 71.004), or that the parolee doesn’t require “intensive supervision” or “super-intensive” supervision, or that he or she is not an absconder, or otherwise doesn’t pose a threat to the public’s safety.
A magistrate of the Texas county in which the parolee is held in custody may move to release him or her on bond prior to the court hearing if 1) he or she is arrested/held in custody on charges that he or she committed an administrative violation, 2) the warrant states that he or she is eligible for release, and 3) the magistrate concludes the individual isn’t a public safety threat.
If the parolee doesn’t meet the necessary criteria for release on bond pending the blue warrant’s disposition, he or she must remain in custody during the revocation process.
Contact an Experienced Texas Probation Defense Attorney in Houston
Rebuilding your life after prison can be a gritty and long process. Choosing an experienced parole violation defense lawyer in Houston can help you and your family before and after you’re released to community supervision. Greg Tsioros will help you better understand the T&Cs related to your release and provide suggestions to avoid situations that can lead to a parole violation or return to prison.
Call The Law Office of Greg Tsioros at 832-752-5972 to schedule an initial case evaluation.