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Know the Difference Between Parole and Probation?

What's the Difference Between Parole and Probation?

The terms “parole” and “probation” often are used interchangeably. While each describes the legal status of an offender conditionally released, the two are indeed different punishments and processes.

Probation is levied by criminal justice system and is an alternative to jail time, ordered either in lieu of or as a suspension of a prison sentence. An offender on probation remains under court supervision and must adhere to strict rules throughout the probation term or risk going behind bars after all.

Parole is a conditional release from prison and is overseen by the state’s correctional system. A defendant typically is sentenced to jail with some possibility of parole. Once he or she has served a designated percentage of the sentence, an offender can go before a parole board, which has the option to grant early release. That early release most often will involve a parole.

Though they probation and parole are different processes, each carries the same threat for offenders who violate the terms. Both probationers and parolees are subject to a litany of conditions including meeting with a supervising officer at predetermined intervals, holding a job, attending rehab and/or counseling, and not breaking the law. Violations can result in an offender carrying out a sentence in jail.

If you are in jail or facing prison time, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney. Gainesville’s Law Offices of Edwards and Jones specializes in helping accused or convicted individuals get a fair shot at reducing or avoiding jail time. Contact us at (352) 329-3632.