Parole Representation

 Parole and mandatory supervision are complicated areas of law and virtually each time the Texas Legislature meets, the laws change -- usually by becoming more restrictive.  It's important to know that the parole laws in Texas are unique to Texas and the rights and procedures that exist in other states do not exist in Texas.  "Parole hearings" -- where the prisoner and his lawyer appear in an open forum before the voters and state their case for parole -- do not exist in Texas.  Rather, in Texas the process is "closed" and secretive.  As a result, there are many misconceptions about the parole review process.
 
A prisoner's "parole eligibility date" is the date that he becomes eligible for parole consideration.  Prisoners do not need to take any action to become eligible for parole.  The parole eligibility date will be calculated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.  
 
Some prisoners choose to conduct their own investigation and/or preparation of parole materials for the Board of Pardons and Paroles, particularly when the case is non-violent, non-sexual and non-aggravated. 
 
However, when the offenses are violent or sexual, or the cases are more complex, or complicated by lengthy criminal histories, poor institutional adjustment, extensive media coverage or other extenuating factors, many prisoners hire lawyers to represent them before the Parole Board.
 
When Yolanda is hired for parole representation, she investigates and prepares the cases herself.  She does not allow secretaries or legal assistants to do the work for which she is hired. 
 
She meets with and interviews the Client at his unit of assignment. During the meeting she and the Client go over his social, educational and family history.  They will thoroughly discuss the Client's criminal history, prior incarcerations, prior probations and prior periods of parole, as well as any prior probation or parole revocations. They will go through the details of the offense, the facts of the crime, the people involved – other culpable parties, co-defendants and/or victims.  They will discuss how the trial proceeded, any plea offers before the trial, institutional adjustment, disciplinary history, history of unit assignments, job assignments and custody levels and classifications.  She and the Client will also discuss potential obstacles to parole, such as victim or trial official protests. (Trial officials are the judge of the court where the Client was convicted; the district attorney of the convicting county; and the sheriff of the convicting county.)  Together they will develop a strategy for the parole review.  Each Client is unique so each case is unique.  The circumstances and persuasive arguments that apply in one person's case, may not be appropriate in another person's case. 
 
Yolanda always requests to meet with the lead voter of the Parole Panel. While the Parole Board is not required to grant the requests, the Board voters usually do so and allow for a meeting either in person or by phone.  In most cases, the Client's family also attend the meeting.  At the meeting, Yolanda will present the facts and arguments in support of parole and the family will have the opportunity to address the Board voter.    
 
If you have any questions about parole representation, or for information about the fee for representation in your case,  please contact Yolanda at yolandamtorres@gmail.com.  
 
To see a list of the types of cases Yolanda represents before the Board, click on the link below. hits counter
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Yolanda M. Torres,
Sep 2, 2017, 1:31 PM
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