If it's an aggravated offense, you have to do at least half your time. If not, you'll be eligible in three or four years. Of course there's no guarantee you'll get parole then.
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Parole eligibility is based on a number of factors including the type of crime, the person's criminal history and the person's behavior while in jail. For a nonaggravated offense the rule of them is one quarter of the time and one half for aggravated. This can vary widely.
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The conviction must be for a First or Second Degree Felony. It will depend on whether or not it is an offense classified as a "3g" offense. Parole eligibility is determined by the offense. If it is a "3g" offense (typically your aggravated offenses or a deadly weapon finding) then one half of the sentence will have to be served without regard to good time before parole eligibility. If is not a "3g" offense then parole eligibility is reached when actual time and GOOD time reach 1/4th of the sentence. (Could be as low as 1/8th of the sentence if 2 for one the whole time in.) HOWEVER, as Counsel Macy states... it does not mean parole will actually be granted.
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On a non-aggravated offense, the person will be eligible for parole when his flat time (the number of calendar days spent in custody) + his good time (the number of days he has accumulated for good behavior) = 1/4 of his sentence, or in this case, 4 years and 6 months.
On an aggravated offense, the person will be eligible for parole when his flat time equals 1/2 of his sentence or he has served 30 years, whichever is less. For instance, if the sentence is 40 years, he will be eligible when he has served 20 years. If the sentence is 70 years, he will be eligible in 30 years, because 1/2 his sentence would be 35 years. In this case, that would be 9 years. Accumulated good time is NOT considered on aggravated offenses.
If the person was sentenced for possession or delivery in a drug free zone, and the sentence was 5 years or less, he will serve the entire sentence. If it was for more than 5, he will not be eligible until he has served AT LEAST 5 years flat time. In this case, the person would be eligible in 5 years.
It's important to note that being eligible for parole does not mean that an inmate actually makes parole. It is not unusual for inmates to have to wait for their second or third time before the parole board to receive parole. There are lawfirms who specialize in preparing evidence for parole hearings and representing defendants in those hearings. You should consider contacting one of those firms. One such group can be found at www.paroletexas.com.