Although the firm is based in Austin, I have a statewide practice. My advice is listen to an attorney and be patient! The parole process can be a long and frustrating one. I have your best interests at heart and I have the experience to know what needs to be accomplished in order for you to have your loved one return to the “free world” as soon as possible! We know and understand the law, who the voting members and commissioners of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles are, and how the system works for and against the inmate.
Parole in Texas is somewhat unique. If a family member or loved one has been sent to prison, you should forget everything you have seen on television. In Texas, the parole board members very seldom interview an inmate personally and almost never is the inmate brought before the Board to meet and personally answer questions posed to him/her by the Board members.
The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles can vote a parole case up two (2) months prior to the month the case is scheduled for review. We often get calls from family members of inmates who have been denied parole before their scheduled parole visit, and before they have submitted letters and other materials for the Board to consider. Too late now! The Board rarely if ever will re-review the case. If you have a family member or friend who is nearing their parole review date, be sure to plan far enough ahead to avoid this situation by starting early!
Generally, a parole package (an evidentiary presentation) is submitted to the Board or commissioners in order for them to review the information in a timely fashion. Be mindful that they may also review negative information contained in the inmate’s file from any potential victims, their families or other interested persons, the county sheriff and the district attorney who prosecuted the case. After making a timely request, the Board will then listen to an attorney presentation and summation of the evidence. Once the Board has: 1) reviewed all the information and, 2) heard arguments from counsel, they will base their decision(s) upon the totality of the information received and then decide whether to grant or deny parole to the inmate.
This is why the parole package is important. It has to be more that a letter pleading for the release of the individual, a few support letters, and/or perhaps a letter or statement of future employment. In Texas, inmates go into review six (6) months before their parole eligibility date. The parole eligibility date is not the date the parole board will meet and decide whether to grant parole or keep the individual in prison. The parole eligibility date means exactly what it says, it means the individual can be released at any time after that date. The Board will actually decide whether an inmate will be released sometime before the parole eligibility date. All information must be submitted to the Board well in advance of the parole eligibility date because if it is not submitted in a timely manner the Board will not review the information. For your information, the TDCJ Correctional Institutions Division Records Office calculates parole eligibility dates for all offenders, except those on death row or in other specific cases. A percentage of a sentence must be served to reach eligibility and this varies according to the nature of the offense and as specified by law. The parole eligibility date may change based on good conduct time.
We know how to effectively represent you! We pride ourselves on being tireless advocates who provide you with extraordinary and effective legal services. Oftentimes, inmates try to represent themselves without success. Be aware that any communication or action taken may be used against the inmate at any subsequent hearing. Often, information is used to deny an inmate’s release on parole.
At Chris Dorbandt & Associates, we strive to protect you and the inmate from the moment our representation begins. We will provide you with the support and guidance. We have substantial experience and remarkable success with representing inmates before the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles (BPP) throughout the state.
Board members and commissioners are only obligated to speak with properly registered attorneys. At Chris Dorbandt & Associates we register and seek approval from the Board on every inmate we represent. At the proper time, we confer with the lead commissioner once the client’s file has been received at the assigned board. Presentations are made directly to the commissioner assigned to the case. As your attorney, I will accommodate requests from families to visit with the commissioner at the time the file is in final review for consideration of parole. However personal meetings are discretionary with the Board and commissioners assigned to the file. Don’t expect to have a face-to-face meeting with any commissioner, but we will set it up so that you can talk with him/her by phone.
Again, if a loved one is seeking release from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Institutional Division (prison), you need to retain the services of a parole attorney as soon as possible. Don’t wait until the inmate has been interviewed on the unit by one of the institutional parole officers (IPO) because it’s almost too late to do anything for the inmate before the hearing. You should contact us immediately for a free initial review and consultation without obligation. We are available toll free at 1.877.205.3425.