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Good Behavior: You Can Drastically Reduce Your Sentence

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If you or a loved one has been handed a prison sentence, the thought of spending an extended amount of time behind bars can be disheartening. To ensure you are incarcerated as little time as possible, you may take advantage of good time credit to reduce your sentence. The amount of time you can earn towards your sentence varies, but can add up to more than half of it in some cases.

Federal Credit

Federal inmates who are serving a sentence longer than one year may earn good time credit, unless they are serving a life or death sentence. The amount of good time you can earn is up to 54 days per year, which means you will effectively serve around 87.1% of your sentence. The credit starts becoming applied at the end of the first year’s sentence. After that time, it is reassessed on an annual basis to determine whether or not an inmate is eligible to receive credit. Some of the requirements are:

  • Exemplary compliance with institutional regulations
  • Making progress toward earning a high school diploma or GED if applicable
  • Compliance with any other requirements of a sentence

After undergoing review, you may receive all or part of the allowable good time credit, depending upon your behavior. As such, the amount of good time you earn can also be less than 54 days.

State Jail Felons

Texas state jail felons were previously required to serve every day of their sentence. Thanks to a new law enacted in 2011, you can now receive time off for good behavior if you are convicted of a state jail felony. The amount of time earned may not exceed one-fifth of the total sentence, and credit may not be earned if you are under disciplinary action. Other things considered when determining whether or not to grant you good time credit are:

  • Participation in an industrial or agricultural work program
  • Pursuing vocational training or higher education
  • Participation in self-improvement programs
  • Compliance with the rules

Other Texas Felons

If you are serving higher than a state jail felony, you can also be eligible for good time credit. You may receive up to 30 days credit for each 30 days served, in addition to an extra 15 days for every 30 days you participate in an approved program. The credited time is applied only to your parole eligibility date rather than your actual release date.

Good behavior can make the difference between whether you serve your entire sentence or are released early. Know what credits are available so you can utilize them to your advantage in regaining your freedom.

Avoid the Need for Credits

If you have been convicted of a crime, then good time credits are an excellent way to reduce your sentence. However, a better solutions is to avoid a criminal conviction altogether. In order to accomplish this, you should consider hiring a criminal defense attorney right away.

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