3g offense in texas

What is a 3G Offense in Texas? | 3G Offenses in Texas | Criminal Defense

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 of their prison sentence before becoming eligible for parole. Additionally, a judge may not give a defendant straight probation for a 3G offense without the recommendation of a jury after a trial.

3G Offenses in Texas

3G offenses are considered to be the most serious or violent, which is why they are punished more harshly. 3G offenses were formerly listed in Texas Code of Criminal Procedure in Article 42.12 Section 3g (which is why they are called “3G”), but they are now codified under Texas Code of Criminal Procedure 42A.054 and include:

What are the 3G Offenses?

Here is a quick list of the 3G offenses in Texas:

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

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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 straight probation from a judge, with the exception of some cases where a jury recommends probation after a jury trial. Deferred adjudication, however, may be given by a judge if the court finds it is warranted under the circumstances.

Deadly Weapons

Prosecutors can add a “deadly weapon” enhancement to any felony offense, making it a 3G offense in Texas. 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.

Is an Attempted Offense a 3G Offense?

A conviction for an attempted offense is not a conviction for purposes of determining if the person is eligible for community supervision. Parfait v. State, 120 S.W.ed 348 (Tex. Crim. App. 2003)(attempted sexual assault is not a 3g offense in Texas.)

3g minimum in texas

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 in Texas 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 four years, they must still serve a minimum of two years before they are eligible for release on parole.

life sentences and parole parole for 3G offenses in TexasIn most first, second, and third-degree felony cases, an inmate is parole eligible after serving a quarter of the sentence. Certain serious offenses known as 3g offenses in Texas require an inmate to serve half the sentence before becoming parole eligible. These offenses are typically violent or sexually motivated offenses such as aggravated kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault or any offense where a deadly weapon is involved. An offender who received a life sentence after 1993 must serve at least 40 years behind bars before becoming eligible for parole.

It is important to remember that parole is not automatic, but rather, the inmate is eligible to apply for parole after serving a certain period of time. Some offenders, including those who sentenced to death or life in prison without parole, are never eligible to be released on parole.


What to do if you are charged with a 3G Offense in Texas

If you or a loved one has been charged with a 3G offense in Texas, it's important to work with an experienced attorney whom you trust. Discuss your options with an attorney so that you can make an informed decision without surprise consequences. 

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Call us today at (817) 203-2220 for a complimentary strategy session. Our team of former prosecutors and Board Certified Criminal Lawyers are here to help. During this call we will:

  • Discuss the facts of your case;
  • Discuss the legal issues involved, including the direct and collateral consequences of the allegation; and
  • Discuss the defenses that apply to your plan and in general terms discuss our approach to your case.

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Benson Varghese

Managing Partner at Varghese Summersett PLLC
Benson Varghese is the founder and Managing Partner of Varghese Summersett PLLC. He is a prolific writer and has authored hundreds of articles about criminal law in Texas and at the Federal level. His articles have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Above the Law, and have been selected as Top Blogs by the State Bar of Texas. He was named the Young Lawyer of the Year in 2019 by the Tarrant County Bar Association. Benson led the firm to become one of the 500 fastest growing businesses in the United States by Inc 500 Magazine in 2018. In the same year, the firm was named the Best Law Firm in Fort Worth by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The lawyers at Varghese Summersett PLLC exclusively handle criminal defense matters.
Benson Varghese