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A Look at Probation & Parole in Texas

Updated: Jul 9, 2023 @ 12:20 pm

Less than 1 minute Reading Time: Minutes

From the Desk of Your Trusted Criminal Defense Lawyer

You’re no doubt here because either you or a loved one are entangled with the Texas criminal justice system. And in such times, what you need is experienced counsel to help you deal with the situation and come out on top.

That’s where we step in.

At Tad Nelson & Associates, we’ve helped people avoid jail and stiff prison terms since the 90s. If you’re facing criminal charges in the Houston area and need legal representation, don’t hesitate to contact us 24/7 at 713-802-1631.

The Basics of Probation and Parole

Probation is a court-ordered period of community supervision. It’s an alternative to incarceration. It’s like a test-run to see if you can stick to the straight and narrow while still living your life outside of a jail cell.

Probation is a great option for you and the state.

  • Probation helps the state cut down on the number of inmates they’re housing.
  • Probation returns people to their lives, albeit with some conditions.

On the other hand, parole is more like early prison release. However, you’re still under community supervision until the end of your sentence. You could view it as a sort of ‘light at the end of the tunnel’, but there will be conditions attached.

Let’s break these down further.


If you’re allowed to enter a community supervision agreement in Galveston or Harris County, it means you’ll be free. However, you’ll be under the watchful eye of the court.

There are two types of probation in Texas: straight probation and deferred adjudication.

Strait Probation

With straight probation you enter a guilty plea and take the conviction. However, your sentence is suspended while you complete the terms of your probationary agreement. If you adhere to the terms of your probation, you avoid jail time, but the conviction remains on your record.

Deferred Adjudication

Deferred adjudication is a bit different. If you complete the probation period successfully, you won’t have a criminal conviction on background. Even better, you may have the option to petition the court to have the record of your arrest sealed.


Parole is your chance at early release from prison.

It’s like freedom, but with strict conditions. If a person is granted parole, they’ll be under the supervision of a parole officer. One of the common conditions of parole is to meet with the parole officer or “P.O.” periodically.

There will be other conditions which can be specific to each inmate. The conditions of parole can also be related to the offending crime. Failure to adhere to any conditions of your parole can mean a return to prison.

Parole isn’t a given right in Texas.

It’s a privilege granted by the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles. This board reviews each inmate individually when they become eligible for parole. Before granting or denying parole for an inmate, they’ll consider factors like the nature of the crime, their behavior while in prison, and their ability to rejoin society.

The Board also decides on whether to revoke an individual’s parole.

The Importance of Compliance

The key to success for a person on probation or parole is complying with all the conditions of the community supervision agreement. Depending on the offense, the conditions could vary greatly.

The conditions of your probation or parole agreement may include regular check-ins with your supervising officer, staying within a certain geographic area, abstaining from alcohol or drug use, or attending rehabilitation programs. For sex offenders, there will be additional conditions.

Compliance may sound simple, but it’s easier said than done for some people. For this reason, it’s good to have a strong support group.

If you don’t adhere to the terms of your parole or probationary agreement, you could face the maximum penalty for your offense.

Need Help with Criminal Charges?

Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer Today!

Whether you’re facing criminal charges in Galveston or Harris County, we’re here to help. We provide legal representation to individuals charged with both felony and misdemeanor criminal offenses throughout the Greater Houston area.

Our law firm provides assistance with criminal appeals, probation, and parole related matters. If you need to talk with a criminal defense lawyer, we’re here to help. Contact our legal team today at 713-802-1631 or submit our attorney contact form.

We’re known for our affordable legal fees, flexible payment options, and excellent legal representation. Visit our law offices in Houston, League City, or Galveston today!

Attorney Tad Nelson - Board Certified in Criminal Law

Attorney Tad Nelson is Board Certified® in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

Tad Nelson & Associates

Houston DWI Lawyer Tad A Nelson is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the TBLS.

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