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What is the Difference Between Probation and Parole?

People unfamiliar with the criminal justice system often use the terms parole and probation interchangeably. While there are some similarities, there are also key differences. Under both Probation and Parole an individual will be required to follow similar rules. For example, keeping gainful employment is often a component of both probation and parole. Additionally, under both concepts the individual is subject to regular supervision with a probation or parole officer. Ultimately, the goal of each form of supervision is to keep the offender from returning to the criminal justice system.

However, there are some key differences between these two concepts. Under probation, or community supervision, an individual may be sentenced to probation in lieu of jail or prison. The Defendant is ordered to comply with specific conditions. If an individual violates a term of probation, the State will file a Motion to Revoke Community Supervision. The Court will then order a hearing to determine whether it will order a revocation of probation and a subsequent jail or prison sentence.

Parole, on the other hand, is a conditional release from prison. Parole means that an individual has already spent time in a correctional institution and is being released early contingent on them following certain conditions. An individual being considered for parole must go before a parole board and explain why they are fit to return to society. Additionally, parole boards often look at whether the individual has followed the rules while in prison and whether the individual is likely to return to prison.

Whether you or a loved one is facing a Motion to Revoke Probation or a parole board hearing, contact the Attorneys at Carrabin Shaw

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