The words probation and parole are common in the world of criminal law--many people have even heard these terms in movies or television. However, if you are facing a criminal conviction, it is important to understand what these terms mean for your future. While both are types of supervision after one has been convicted of a crime, they have several differences that are worth noting.
What is Probation?
The first thing to know about probation is that it is ordered by the Court. Also, probation is typically administered at the county level as opposed to the state. It typically applies to first time offenders and if the crime committed was a non-violent crime. When a person gets put on probation, they are allowed to continue on with their lives and go about the community, but their behavior is monitored. Probation can be informal or formal (check-ins with a probation officer) depending on the crime committed. The idea of probation is that it allows a person to avoid incarceration if they promise to follow the rules of their probation which often include good behavior, avoiding certain actions (drugs, drinking), and not committing other crimes. If a person violates their probation, the Court will decide if the person gets to continue with probation or has to go to jail.
What is Parole?
Parole differs from probation in that it is approved by a parole board. Also it is administered at the state level after some amount of state prison time has been served. When a person is already in prison and serving a sentence, parole allows them to be released sometimes before the end of their sentence time if the parole board approves it. Parole also has strict rules that the person must follow if they are approved to be released. If a person on parole violates the terms of their parole, that person can be sent back to jail. How long a person is “on parole” depends on the type of crime that they committed, which means it can last for several years.
Talk to a Skilled Criminal Defense Attorney
If you are facing criminal charges, or you have a loved one that has been charged with a crime, it is important to contact an experienced Southern California defense attorney who understands the entire criminal justice system, including sentencing. The chance to be put on probation is better than facing jail time. The knowledgeable attorneys at the Kann California Law Group can meet with you for a free case consultation and discuss whether probation could be an option in your case. We can also answer any questions you may have about probation or parole. Contact us today at 888-744-7730 or contact us here on line and one of our criminal defense attorneys will call shortly.