Overviewing Parole Street Credit
- May 5, 2022
- Parole, Parole Violation & Revocation Defense
- The Law Office of Greg Tsioros
- Comments Off on Overviewing Parole Street Credit
Street credit sounds like something you get for your experience “out on the street,” and honestly, that isn’t too far off. In Texas, street credit is the time you spend on parole that can be counted toward your sentence if you are re-incarcerated.
Unfortunately, this concept isn’t as simple as it sounds. You might feel like you need a math degree to figure out how street credit works, but this post provides an overview its practice in Texas.
Let’s jump in.
What Is Street Credit?
As mentioned above, street credit refers to the time someone spends on the “street” or “out in the world” after being paroled and allowed to serve the rest of their sentence outside prison. Street credit doesn’t mean much unless or until the individual is sent back to prison for parole violations or other reasons.
The time that a person spends out of jail before returning is called street credit and can be used toward the remaining sentence in some instances. Street credit counts from the date the parole revocation warrant is issued.
If the individual is paroled and remains out of prison until the end of their sentence, they “stay on paper,” meaning they serve the rest of their time outside of prison, serving their prison sentence on paper instead of in jail.
The framework for the current street credit practices was built with changes to parole revocations implemented on September 1, 2001. Section 508.283(c) of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure created street credit and how it is awarded.
In general, if the time the individual spent on the street was more than the time they have left in their sentence, they receive street credit. If, however, the time they spent out in the world is less than the remaining sentence time, no street credit is granted.
Exclusions from Street Credit
A long list of offenses keeps you from being eligible for street credit. You might hear them called Section 149 offenses:
- A first-degree felony or second-degree felony murder conviction
- Any offense with a deadly weapon
- Capital murder
- Indecency with a child
- First or second-degree aggravated kidnapping
- First or second-degree sexual assault
- First-degree felony injury to a child, an elderly person, or a disabled individual
- First-degree arson
- First-degree burglary
- Second-degree felony robbery
- Sexual performance of a child
- Continual sexual abuse of a child
- Felony enhancement under a school zone or use of child statute
- First-degree felony criminal solicitation*
- Compelling prostitution*
- Human trafficking
- Continuous trafficking of a person
- Engaging in organized criminal behavior or committing a crime as a gang member
*As of September 1, 2021, Texas changed soliciting prostitution (buying sex) from a Class B misdemeanor to a state jail felony charge, even for the first offense. As it was defined by law before September 1, 2021, a previous solicitation conviction raises the state jail felony to a third-degree felony. You can see where this is going.
How Complicated Can It Get?
Here are a couple of examples.
A man serving a 10-year sentence is granted parole after two years. He remains on parole for six years before getting charged with DWI. The court issues a revocation warrant on the date of the sixth year of parole.
That means he has six years of street credit and only two years left in his sentence. He gets the advantage of his street credit since it’s longer than the rest of his sentence. He goes back to prison for two years to finish his sentence, eligible for parole the whole time.
The same fellow from above with the same 10-year sentence makes parole in two years but receives a revocation warrant at the end of his second year out. He still has six years left on his sentence, more than the two years he spent on the outside. Therefore, he does NOT get street credit for those two years and must go back to prison for eight years to finish the sentence. He will be eligible for parole while he’s incarcerated.
Of Course, It’s More Complicated Than That
Suppose the same man is in prison for any of the above exclusions. In that case, he cannot receive any street credit, no matter how many years he spends of his sentence out of prison. Do you remember those Section 149 offenses?
What if he had a previous conviction for a Section 149 offense when he was incarcerated at the beginning of his sentence? Sorry, no street credit allowed. To make things worse, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice might decide to update a previous conviction to a Section 149 offense as they consider your street credit eligibility and deny you street time on that account.
For example, let’s imagine that 20 years ago, you were convicted for second-degree felony robbery. That wasn’t on the Section 149 offense list when you committed it. But, when the TDCJ suddenly decides to count that robbery conviction as a Section 149 offense, that applies to your current parole situation.
The Court of Criminal Appeals has already ruled that a person’s eligibility for street credit is controlled by the law in effect at the time of the offense they are serving time for. It’s possible that an experienced criminal appeals attorney can get your street credit back on appeal.
The Office of Greg Tsioros Can Help
Many people released from prison have setbacks during the parole period. That shouldn’t keep you from accumulating street credit if you make an honest effort to stay straight.
Contact Greg Tsioros today if you have a parole revocation warrant out on you. Misunderstandings can and will happen, and sometimes things get out of hand. Don’t pay for this mistake by going behind bars again. Houston parole attorney Greg Tsioros will fight for you and your freedom, ensuring the truth of the matter is heard before a decision by a judge.