We have always maintained here at TexasParoleNow.com that if you can afford a parole attorney it is a worthwhile investment.
However, we have started to see a number of websites popping up in which people offer to prepare parole packets for you for a fee. Many of these state specifically that they are not attorneys and others hint that they have attorneys working there although from what we have seen that appears very unlikely.
These companies may do good work but as in all things you see on the internet be very, very careful. As the old saying goes Caveat Emptor (let the buyer beware).
While some have testimonials on the website, there is no way to guarantee that they are from real customers. Nor are you able to know whether the person would have made parole anyway, whether the packet was done correctly and professionally, and whether it ever made it into the hands of the voting members.
There are many people out there who are perfectly willing to take advantage of a family who misses their loved one and it is very hard to check these type of places out before you invest the money and even harder to get the money back once you do so.
There are likely some attorneys out there who would be willing to just prepare the parole packet, but not actually sign on to represent the offender, for the same price as these places operating without an attorney on board.
We feel that the two best choices you can make in helping someone make a Texas parole are to either hire a Texas parole attorney or to prepare the parole packet yourself, either with our book or without.
No one will care as much as you do about getting your loved one home on parole and many people are only concerned about taking your money at a time when you likely can't afford to spend any more than you have to!
Many people are confused by the topic of good time credit and how it can help the chances of parole in Texas.
We're going to discuss the basic concept in this article and hopefully clear things up for those of you looking forward to seeing a loved walk free as soon as they make parole.
First, if a person has been convicted of what is known as a "3g offense" like murder, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault, and aggravated robbery or other crimes of violence, an offender cannot be considered for parole until they have served an actual 50% of their sentence regardless of their good time credit. As an example, that means if the person was sentenced to 20 years in prison for an 3g offense, then they absolutely cannot make parole until they have served a minimum of 10 years, and the statistics show that it is unlikely they will make their first parole.
For all offenses, a person begin earning credit toward their sentence when they are incarcerated in either county jail or a prison and start earning good time credit when they actually are sentenced by the court and incarcerated.
We start with the idea that a prisoner gets one day of credit for every day served.
Good time credit is applied on top of that and if a prisoner has had no problems or disciplinary actions while incarcerated then they are considered a Line Class 1 and earn 20 days of good time credit for every 30 days of "flat time" they serve. Essentially that means that a prisoner who does not get into trouble gets 50 days credit for every 30 days they serve. In addition, if a prisoner works while incarcerated or attends school then they can get an additional 10 days of credit for each 30 days actually served thus making a total of 60 days credit for every 30 days actually served.
A person who is not incarcerated for a violent (3g) offense is eligible to be considered for parole when his flat time plus his good time and work time equal 25% of their sentence. So, if a person is sentenced to 8 years and while in prison they immediately begin working and avoid getting into any trouble, they would be eligible for parole after 1 year of actual incarceration since their 1 year of flat time and 1 year of good time equals 2 years, or 25% of the 8 year sentence.
At this time State Jail offenders only do flat time and do not receive good time credit although that may change in the future.