Article 42.12 Section 3(g), Texas Code of Criminal Procedure | 3G Offenses in Texas
A feature of the Texas Criminal Code that generates frequent questions is “3G offenses.” The offenses are called 3G offenses because they were codified in section (3)(g) of Article 42.12, Code of Criminal Procedure. The code has now been updated and the 3(g) offenses are listed in Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Section 42A.054. As a practical matter, 3G offenses are generally considered more serious crimes. Many of the crimes are “aggravated” offenses, meaning that some circumstance makes the offense worse than the base offense.
The 3G offenses are:
- Capital Murder
- Murder in specific aggravating circumstances, such as murdering a victim under 10 years of age, murder while committing another felony, murdering more than one victim, murdering a law enforcement officer or fireman acting in their official capacity, murder for hire or retaliatory murder against a judge
- Indecency with a child by contact
- Aggravated kidnapping–Kidnapping with the intent to hold the victim for ransom or as a hostage or with the intent to sexually or physically abuse the victim
- Aggravated sexual assault–Sexual assault in specific aggravating circumstances, such as a victim under 14 years of age, an elderly or disabled victim, using “date rape” drugs such as rohypnol or ketamine, causing serious bodily harm to the victim or another person, or attempting to kill the victim or another person in the course of the crime
- Sexual Assault
- Aggravated robbery–Robbery plus threat of bodily harm, exhibiting a deadly weapon or putting an elderly or disabled individual in fear of injury or death • Sexual assault
- Injury to a child (if offense is first degree felony)
- Sexual performance by a child under 18 years of age
- Criminal solicitation for commission of a capital offense (if offense is first degree felony)
- Compelling prostitution by force, threat, or fraud or, if the victim is less than 18 years of age, by any means
- Trafficking of persons
- Drug offenses committed within 1,000 feet of a school, youth center, or playground or on a school bus when the defendant has previously been convicted of a similar offense
- Burglary with the intent to commit another felony
- Any felony where a deadly weapon is used or exhibited during the commission of the crime or during the flight from the crime–Deadly weapon includes any firearm or other device designed to cause death or serious bodily injury or capable of doing so.
The important considerations for individuals convicted of a 3G offense are the implications for their sentencing and prospects for parole. Although the laws have changed over the years as various offenses have been added to the list, the current provisions apply to any crime committed on or after September 1, 2007.
Probation or Deferred Adjudication on 3G Offenses
Under the Code of Criminal Procedure, a judge cannot accept a plea bargain for straight probation (community supervision) on a 3G offense. A judge can, however, accept a plea bargain for deferred adjudication as long as the underlying sentence for the offense is 10 years or less. Deferred adjudication is similar to probation, except the judge defers a finding of guilt for the specified time of probation, and if the defendant successfully completes the probation, the charge is ultimately dismissed and no final conviction is entered on the defendant’s record.
If a defendant exercises his right to trial on a 3G offense and is found guilty, only the jury can give probation. When a jury gives probation at trial for a 3G offense, it is considered straight probation because a final conviction of guilt is entered on the defendant’s record.
Parole on 3G Offenses
Conviction for a 3G crime also affects an individual’s prospects for parole. For any other offense, parole eligibility occurs when time served plus time for good conduct equals the lesser of 15 years or one-fourth of the sentence. However, for a 3G offense, an individual is not eligible for parole until actual time served, with no allowance for good conduct credit, equals the lesser of 30 years or one-half of the original sentence. If the original sentence was for any period less than four years, the individual is not eligible for parole until actual time served of two years.
Free Consultation with an Experienced Fort Worth Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you have been charged with a 3G offense, you need to speak with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Our attorneys have years of experience handling 3G offenses in Texas. Call our team today to set up a free consultation in our Fort Worth office. We will take the time to answer your questions and help you take the next steps to protect your liberty.