Parole and Probation Are Not the Same Thing: Learn the Differences and How an Attorney Can Help You

Parole and Probation Are Not the Same Thing: Learn the Differences and How an Attorney Can Help You

In the American legal system, parole and probation are two distinct ideas. In order to lessen or eliminate your time in jail or prison, probation is a component of your sentence. You are released into the community while on probation under the watchful eye of the court or a probation officer.

In contrast, parole is granted after you have served a sizable portion of your jail or state prison sentence. It enables you to complete the remainder of your sentence outside of prison under the supervision of a parole officer.

You are required to follow certain rules and guidelines about your conduct and behavior as part of both probation and parole, such as avoiding illegal behavior, consenting to drug testing at random, and attending scheduled sessions with your probation or parole officer.

Read on to learn more about both probation and parole, then contact Chambers Law Firm at 714-760-4088 if you have been accused of a parole or probation violation and require a free legal consultation.

What is probation?

Probation is a form of criminal sentence handed down by the court in which you are released back into society rather than serving time in jail or prison. You are under the court’s or a probation officer’s supervision while on probation. For your whole probationary time, you must also abide by certain terms and conditions of probation.

This could include meeting with a probation officer on a regular basis, carrying out volunteer work, submitting to drug and/or alcohol testing, and finishing a treatment program. Keep in mind that you are not automatically eligible for probation. Instead, if granted by a judge, it is seen as an act of grace by the legal system.

Both felony and misdemeanor cases are eligible for probation.

What is parole?

When someone is released from prison or jail on parole, they must serve the remainder of their term behind bars in the community. Parolees are released after serving a major portion of their sentences. Due to the fact that, like with probation, parole has certain requirements that must be met, such as passing random drug tests, keeping a job, consenting to certain travel limitations, and meeting with a parole officer on a regular basis.

A parole board normally grants parole. While on parole, parolees are under the watchful eye of a parole officer. In felony situations, parole is often granted when the majority of your state jail sentence has been served. Like probation, you are not automatically entitled to parole.

What are the eligibility requirements?

A judge will take the following factors into account when deciding whether to issue probation: the type and circumstances of your crime, your criminal history, your assessed threat to the community, and your need for probation.

When determining whether to release you from jail or prison early, a parole board will typically take the following factors into account: proof of your good behavior while in custody, your desire to contribute to society, whether parole would advance criminal justice, your threat to public safety, and if you have made progress toward rehabilitation.

The consequences for probation violations

A probation violation hearing is typically held in these situations. If the judge determines during this hearing that you did, in fact, violate your probation, the judge will have two options. If you violated your probation, it may be reinstated with the same restrictions as before, modified with more stringent requirements, or revoked, forcing you to serve the remainder of your sentence in jail or prison.

The consequences of a parole violation?

If you violate one of your parole’s requirements, it counts as a violation of parole just like it would on probation. If so, you will often attend a parole hearing where you will be seen by a judge or a parole board. You may be sent back to jail or prison, or placed back on parole with the same or greater restrictions.

9Be aware that you can be charged with new crimes if your parole is terminated because you committed a new crime. If found guilty, the new felony might result in a penitentiary or jail sentence for you.

Can a criminal defense lawyer be of assistance?

Yes. For questions regarding probation or parole, you should see a criminal defense attorney. At Chambers Law Firm, we can help by working to get a judge to sentence you to probation during the sentencing phase of your case, determining whether you are eligible for parole, making sure you are adhering to the rules of your probation or parole, and, in the event of a violation, representing you at a hearing to determine whether you violated your probation or parole.

According to our legal experience, defendants who are represented by an accomplished defense attorney have a higher chance of receiving probation and parole. Contact Chambers Law Firm at 714-760-4088 now for a free legal consultation.

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