All You Need to Know About Probation and Parole

All You Need to Know About Probation and Parole

Parole and probation are some alternatives to being incarcerated. For both, the person involved is supervised by an official and is expected to adhere to specific rules and regulations. These regulations are termed “conditions of parole” or “probation conditions,” and in both situations, the person is required to accept warrantless searches, which have no probable cause.

What is Probation?

Legally speaking, probation is a system that allows an individual who has done a crime not to be jailed in prison if he/she behaves properly and if he/she sees a probation officer regularly for a set time.

What is Parole?

Parole is permission granted to a prisoner to get out of prison before his/her complete sentence ends on condition that proper behavior is upheld.


What’s the Difference Between the Two?

  • Probation happens prior to and usually rather than being imprisoned whereas parole involves early release from jail or prison.
  • A person on probation is normally still liable to the court, meaning that the judge can amend a person’s probation guidelines. On the other hand, parole modifications aren’t typically the result of a court ruling, but rather the result of a ruling by the parole board.

What are some possible stipulations of each?

1. Probation Conditions

Although the individual is not imprisoned, he or she might still be subject to most of the similar stipulations of serving time in prison like curfew rules, mandatory attendance in rehab programs, as well as regular drug tests. While on probation, the party may be required to pay court costs and fines, restitution, and lawyer fees.

Probation period may range from 1-10 years. A probation officer is put in charge of the person under probation to monitor progress and report to the judge on any violations of the set regulations. If the judge is displeased with the defendant’s progress, he/she has the right to order the issuance of a “capias” and mandate the defendant to go back to court for sentencing. Once sentenced, the defendant is sent to prison to serve time.

2. Conditions of Parole

A parolee will face most of the similar terms and conditions as probation. Conditions of parole might include needing the individual to live in a halfway house and continue paying court fines and other monetary obligations.

Here, the defendant is monitored by a parole officer. This official explains the parole terms and stipulations to the involved party and tracks their progress. Just like probation, if a parolee fails to adhere to the set terms, then the parole officer must report to the parole board. The board will make a decision based on the person’s behavior and may order him or her to return to jail to finish the remaining sentence.

When it comes to probation and parole, the stipulations are specific, and if you come in violation of them you will need an attorney! Contact Law Office of Jaimee C. McDowell if you think you are being mishandled by your probation officer.