All prisoners who are on parole must comply with the terms and conditions of parole set forth by the Texas Department of Pardons and Paroles.
If the parolee is accused of not following the terms and conditions of their parole, then a Blue Warrant is issued for the immediate arrest of the parolee.
What is a Blue Warrant?
The legal document referred to as a “Blue Warrant” is not unique to Texas, although that specific term “Blue Warrant” appears to be unique to the Lone Star State.
A Blue Warrant is simply a warrant for an arrest issued when the State of Texas files a Motion to Revoke Parole.
The Blue Warrant contains instructions to any law officer who receives it to arrest and jail the subject of the warrant upon contact. The parolee, who now faces a revocation, will remain in jail, or have bond set in certain cases, until a hearing is held to determine whether they are to be sent back to prison or, more rarely, the parole officer withdraws the Motion to Revoke and the warrant is cancelled.
Why are Blue Warrants Blue?
Warrants for parole revocation are called “Blue Warrants” because they were originally issued in a blue jacket. While the reason for this different appearance has been lost over the years, it was likely because the state did not want the local jailer, law enforcement, or magistrate to release the person or set a minimal bail, and the blue cover set this type of warrant apart from the local warrants.
What Happens When a Blue Warrant is Issued?
When a Blue Warrant is issued and the parolee is arrested, the parolee will wait in jail until a hearing is set. In certain cases, the parolee may post bond until the hearing. The hearings are handled by special magistrates, not the local judges, and the hearings are usually held in the jail rather than in the courtroom.
Just as in other criminal cases, at the hearing the accused is entitled to counsel and if they cannot afford to hire a lawyer they can ask that one be appointed. However, the burden of proof is much lower in these hearings, a finding made “beyond a reasonable doubt” is no longer required. Instead the determination is “by a preponderance of the evidence”, the same as in a civil case, which just means it is more likely than not that the violation occurred.
In the event the parole is revoked, then the person reenters the prison system and begins waiting on another chance to “make parole”. The fact a person was released on parole, failed to abide by the terms, and was revoked, will make it harder to be granted parole at the next opportunity. However, it doesn’t always mean they will have to finish their full sentence. That always depends on the facts of the original crime as well as the violation.
Once again, it will be important for the offender to prepare a Texas parole packet and use the strategies and techniques set out in our book to increase their chances at making parole a second time.
If you have an incarcerated loved one, we suggest you take a look at our book How to Prepare a Texas Parole Packet. The book provides easy to follow instructions and forms for creating a Texas parole package.
How to Prepare a Texas Parole Packet is available in ebook format as an instant download or in bundled form with an ebook and a printed book to be sent to an offender in prison or someone at home. Since we are an approved vendor there are no issues receiving our books at any of the Texas jails or prisons.