What is a 3G Offense?
A 3G offense is a special category of felony offenses in Texas that requires a person serve at least half their prison sentence before being eligible to apply for parole. Additionally, a judge may not probate the sentence on a 3G offense without the recommendation of the jury after a trial.
What are the 3G Offenses?
Here is a quick list of the 3G offenses in Texas:
|Indecency with a child|
|Aggravated sexual assault|
|Drug cases where a child is used in the commission of the offense, or the offense took place within 1,000 feet of a school or on a school bus.|
|Injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual, if the offense is punishable as a felony of the first degree|
|Sexual performance by a child|
|Criminal solicitation cases that are punishable as a felony of the first degree|
|Trafficking of persons|
3G Offenses – A Longer Explanation
3G offenses are a special category of felony offenses, formerly listed in Texas Code of Criminal Procedure in Article 42.12 Section 3g, that are considered to be the most serious or violent and to which additional sentencing consequences apply. This is now codified under Texas Code of Criminal Procedure 42A.054.
Texas Code of Criminal Procedure 42A.054 lists the following offenses:
- Capital murder
- Indecency with a child
- Aggravated kidnapping
- Aggravated sexual assault
- Aggravated robbery
- Drug cases where a child is used in the commission of the offense, or the offense took place within 1,000 feet of a school or on a school bus.
- Sexual assault
- Injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual, if the offense is punishable as a felony of the first degree
- Sexual performance by a child
- Criminal solicitation cases that are punishable as a felony of the first degree
- Compelling prostitution
- Trafficking of persons
- Burglary of a Habitation
Probation Eligibility is limited for 3G Offenses
The Code of Criminal Procedure lists a number of crimes where a judge cannot give probation. An Individual charged with 3G offense in Texas generally cannot receive probation from a judge, with the exception of some cases where a jury may recommend probation. Deferred adjudication, however, may be given by a judge if the court finds it is warranted under the circumstances. A defendant may also receive probation from a jury after a guilty verdict in a jury trial.
Prosecutors can add a Deadly Weapon enhancement to any felony offense. If the deadly weapon is found to be true or pled true, then the 3G restrictions outlined above apply.
What is a Deadly Weapon?
A deadly weapon is anything that is used or exhibited during the commission of an offense or during the flight from an offense that in its use or intended use is capable of causing death or serious bodily injury. A common misconception is that if a death occurred, then the deadly weapon allegation must be true. That is not true, and we have had juries return verdicts where a death occurred without finding the deadly weapon allegation to be true.
Parole Eligibility is Delayed for 3G Offenses
If a person is convicted of a non-3G offense, they are eligible to be considered for release on parole when their actual time served plus good conduct equals one-fourth (¼) of the sentence imposed or 15 years, whichever is less.
By contrast, a person who is convicted of a 3G offense and sent to prison must serve at least half (½) of their sentence or 30 years, whichever is less. If the convicted person receives a sentence of less than 4 years, they must still serve a minimum of two years before they are eligible for release on parole.
What to do if you are charged with a 3G Offense
Make sure you work with an attorney whom you trust. Discuss your options with your attorney so that you can make an informed decision without surprise consequences. For more information and representation, call Varghese Summersett PLLC at (817) 203-2220.