What is the Difference Between Parole and Probation?

man being searched by law enforcement

When you find that you have been charged with a crime it can be utterly overwhelming. One of the first things you may be considering is what will happen should you be found guilty. It may help to understand what some of the punishments may be for a criminal conviction. These consequences may include jail time, fines, community service, and probation. However, many people often confuse the probation program with that of parole. It’s important that you understand the difference between the two. 

What Are the Similarities and Differences?

While probation and parole are both programs related to a criminal conviction, they are two separate things. Probation is a program that often serves as an alternative punishment to jail time, whereas parole is a program for those who have already gone to prison, but who are released prior to the end of their sentence. 

While both programs are overseen by special supervising officers who participants must report for a specified period of time, each program has its own set of rules. These rules may include anything from refraining from possessing a firearm or drugs to holding down a job, to not interacting with any known felons. Additionally, some people may be subject to ongoing drug testing to ensure that they are clean.

Always Refrain from any Additional Legal Issues

While you should always avoid engaging in any activities that could land you in hot water with the law, this is especially important when you have already been convicted of a crime. This is because if you are found to be involved with anything else while you are already on probation or parole, it could compound your current punishments. For instance, someone who is found to be involved with something illegal while on parole or probation may be considered to be in violation of their program and may therefore end up in jail or returning to jail for the remainder of their initial sentence. If the participant is able to make it through their program without additional legal issues, it’s likely that they will be finished with the program in a timely manner. 

Surovell Isaacs & Levy PLC Can Help Those in VA Who Have Been Charged with a Crime

If you or a loved one has been charged with a criminal act, there is so much at stake. If you are convicted, it can have a drastic impact on many aspects of your life from where you can live and what job you can hold to your personal rights. A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney who has experience defending clients from criminal charges can help to walk you through the process.

At Surovell Isaacs & Levy PLC, we work hard to ensure that our clients receive the best outcome and compensation that they deserve. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, contact us today!

Posted in: Criminal Law