The general rule for those serving time in a Texas Department of Criminal Justice facility (all felonies but state jail felonies) is that they will be eligible for parole after serving one-eighth of their time. The actual rule is that “except as provided by Section 508.146 [of the Texas Government Code], any other inmate is eligible for release on parole when the inmate’s actual calendar time served plus good conduct time equals one-fourth of the sentence imposed or 15 years, whichever is less.” Every actual calendar day of good conduct time earns the inmate two days of time served, so parole eligibility will occur in half the time for someone who earns all possible good conduct time, thus one-fourth becomes one-eighth.
But not every charge falls under the general rule. Some charges are not eligible for parole at all, some have special rules, and some require at least two years or half of the sentence to be served, whichever is more (commonly known as aggravated time or 3g time).
The most common are aggravated (3g) offenses, so we’ll start there. These are generally crimes that involve a weapon (not necessarily just firearms), involve some type of organization, or are sexual in nature. And again, they require half of the actual, calendar time to be served (good conduct time does not count at all) or at least two years, whichever is more. They are as follows:
- Criminal solicitation, if the offense solicited is a capital offense, which makes it a first-degree felony (Penal Code 15.03)
- Murder and capital murder (Penal Code 19.02, 19.03)
- Aggravated kidnapping (Penal Code 20.04)
- Aggravated robbery (Penal Code 29.03)
- Trafficking of persons and continuous trafficking of persons (Penal Code 20A.02, 20A.03)
- Indecency with a child by contact (Penal Code 21.11(a)(1))
- Sexual assault and aggravated sexual assault (Penal Code 22.011, 22.021)
There is no parole at all for the following:
– Capital murder where the sentence is life without the possibility of parole (Penal Code 19.03)
– Continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14 (Penal Code 21.02)
– Aggravated sexual assault (Penal Code 22.021), if:
(10) Section 22.04(a)(1), Penal Code (Injury to a Child, Elderly Individual, or Disabled Individual), if:
(A) the offense is punishable as a felony of the first degree; and
(B) the victim of the offense is a child;
(12) Section 30.02, Penal Code (Burglary), if:
(A) the offense is punishable under Subsection (d) of that section; and
(B) the actor committed the offense with the intent to commit a felony under Section 21.02, 21.11, 22.011, 22.021, or 25.02, Penal Code;
(13) Section 43.04, Penal Code (Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution);
(14) Section 43.05, Penal Code (Compelling Prostitution);
(15) Section 43.25, Penal Code (Sexual Performance by a Child);
(16) Section 43.26, Penal Code (Possession or Promotion of Child Pornography);
(17) Chapter 481, Health and Safety Code, for which punishment is increased under:
(A) Section 481.140 of that code (Use of Child in Commission of Offense); or
(B) Section 481.134(c), (d), (e), or (f) of that code (Drug-free Zones) if it is shown that the defendant has been previously convicted of an offense for which punishment was increased under any of those subsections; or
(18) Section 481.1123, Health and Safety Code (Manufacture or Delivery of Substance in Penalty Group 1-B), if the offense is punishable under Subsection (d), (e), or (f) of that section.
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