Probation Compared to Parole
Fort Worth Criminal Defense Attorney with the Explanation
When you have been arrested and charged with a crime, sometimes the evidence against you is overwhelming and a conviction seems certain. In such a case, you are probably wondering if and how your sentencing could be reduced. In particular, you will understandably want to face as little jail time as possible. To accomplish this goal, either probation or parole could be used. But what is the differences between probation and parole? And is one better than the other?
A judge presiding over your sentencing after receiving a criminal conviction can choose to release you on a probationary period, rather than assigning any jail or prison time. During probation, you would be able to live your life normally with a few stipulations and while meeting certain conditions. For example, you might need to take a mandatory drug test once a month if you were convicted for possession of illegal narcotics; or you might have to agree to warrantless searches at random if you were convicted for smuggling firearms.
Each probation is unique from the next, formed for each convict. But the result in every case is avoiding jail or prison time. However, if you violate the agreements of your probation, you can be arrested again, brought back to court, and given a new prison sentence.
Parole is a bit like an after-the-fact probation. In order to get parole, you must first spend a certain amount of time in prison due to a conviction. If you can show good spirits and a genuine want for rehabilitation while serving your prison sentence, you can petition for parole, or early release. If you are approved, you are given parole conditions, which work essentially identically to probation conditions; the difference being that if you violate parole, you are returned to prison to finish your initial sentence, rather than getting a new one. Furthermore, parole is different from probation in that someone on parole will often need to report consistently to one parole officer for routine “moral checkups”.
For more information regarding how parole and probation differ from each other, despite being similar at their roots, you can contact The Law Office of Samuel R. Terry and speak with a highly-experienced Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.