Despite aggressive prosecution of drug crimes in Texas, an arrest and conviction on drug charges does not always that a defendant be locked up for the rest of his life. Possession of drugs can result in a number of different sentences, and the result can often depend largely on the legal representation an arrestee has.
The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles reported that in the past year Texas has granting parole more often, granting it more frequently than in any other year in the past decade. Thirty-one percent of all who applied for parole in the state were approved, which is 6 percent higher than a decade ago. Moreover, fewer parolees are being sent back to prison for alleged violations.
State officials say that the change is a positive one and it means that more offenders are returning to normal lives more quickly. Officials also explain that while they are trying to change more lives for low-level offenders and locking up dangerous violent offenders for longer periods of time.
Non-violent offenders may benefit from increased parole approval and can face several different types of sentences other than terms in jail. Alternative sentences include suspension, probation, fines, restitution and community service.
Because of the wide range of possibilities for sentencing in the context of criminal convictions, an aggressive defense can mean the difference between many years behind bars, or a more beneficial alternative sentence.
Source: Houston Chronicle, "Texas says rise in paroles gives state bragging rights," Cindy Horswell, Aug. 15, 2012
Our law firm represents people charged with crimes such as drug possession and violent crimes.