An individual released from a Texas prison is likely to face a period of supervision, referred to as parole. Parole is administered by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. No Texas District Court is involved in the process, as one would find when placed on probation. Parole is decided by an administration. And revocation is decided by an administration, based on rules promulgated by the department.
Parole Violations Revocation Process
Parole is usually conditioned on the successful completion of certain programs. In addition, a parolee is required to avoid drugs and stay away from individuals of ill repute. Any criminal charges will likely result in a revocation, especially any felony or violent crime.
In the United States Supreme Court Case Morissey v. Brewer, the Supreme Court mandated that a parolee be afforded due process during a revocation determination. A parolee must be provided a hearing and has the right to an attorney at a revocation hearing. A special section of the parole board was created in Texas in 1980 to provide for the hearing process.
Every parolee has the right to a hearing. However, some alleged parole violators have a right to a preliminary hearing and a revocation hearing. In each of these hearings, the parolee has the right to counsel. At the hearing, the Department need only prove a violation by a preponderance of the evidence. This process is exhaustively explained in a publication provided by the Department.
At the conclusion of the preliminary hearing, the Hearing Officer makes recommendations to the Parole Board. If probable cause is found, she can recommend revocation with return to prison, half way house, or an intermediate sanctions facility.
Get a Lawyer!
If it is financially possible, it is important to get a lawyer for both the preliminary and revocation hearings. At the preliminary hearing, witnesses are likely to be called, including the parole officer. Your rights are not likely to be protected unless a lawyer of your choosing has the opportunity to cross examine these witnesses. Your lawyer can also provide persuasive arguments and evidence to the hearing officer and parole board to influence them not to revoke or to chose another sanction other than sending you back to prison.
If you are facing a revocation action, call Chernoff Law today!