If you have been charged with a criminal offense, it’s important to understand the difference between probation and parole. This will help dictate how you must act and how it can affect your future. Additionally, while there are differences between probation and parole, there are also similarities that you should understand. Depending on your behavior in prison or jail, you may receive either.

Probation in Chicago, IL

After a person has been arrested, charged, and later convicted of a crime, there is an option for probation or parole. Probation is a form of sentencing that the court can hand down. It lays out rules that an offender must follow to avoid a much harsher sentence.

If you were charged and convicted with assault, the judge may sentence you to probation. This is instead of a jail sentence. The judge also gives you the terms of your probation, and those terms will depend on the charges and the individual. For example, one of the conditions of your probation may be to remain clean and sober for the extent of the probation.

This would include staying out of bars or other entertainment establishments that serve alcohol. You may also be required to attend alcohol or anger management counseling. If a person breaks the rules of their probation, they may be ordered to serve out the remainder of their sentence in jail. The judge may also extend the length of probation.

However, if the offender abides by the rules, the result may be that the charge is reduced or dropped. Judges may also set rules that the offender may not contact certain individuals or family members that are known to have a poor influence on them.

The offender may be ordered to complete rehabilitation or undergo regular drug testing. Many times, individuals who break the rules of their probation will not get a second chance. This means the judge will revoke probation and mandate that the offender finish their sentence in jail.

Parole in Chicago, IL

Parole is different from probation. It is still linked to an offender’s time in jail. However, it is a condition that allows an offender to finish their jail sentence in the community instead of being locked up. For example, if a person is charged and convicted with aggravated assault and receives a three-year sentence, they may be released to parole after one year with good behavior in jail.

The parole board uses an offender’s behavior while incarcerated as an indication that early release with community supervision is a safe possibility. If an offender is granted parole, they must follow conditions and rules that the parole board puts into place.

The offender is monitored regularly by a parole officer. Any time the rules of the parole are broken, the offender can be sent back to jail for the remainder of their sentence. The conditions for parole are set based on the individual and the conviction.

The goal of parole is to help a person reintegrate back into society. Some of the rules can include staying in the same state, maintaining employment, making regular payments on a fine that was associated with the conviction, and staying out of legal trouble.

What Are the Key Similarities Between Parole and Probation?

As discussed, probation is the sentence a judge gives to an individual after they’re convicted and parole is earned by the offender with good behavior in jail. While they are different legal processes, there are similarities between the two.

They are conditional: Probation and parole are granted based on the condition that the offender will follow certain rules.

Can be revoked: If the offender breaks the rules of parole or probation, a judge can revoke either probation or parole and send the individual back to jail to finish out their sentence.

Can be part of the sentence: A judge can determine that probation or parole can serve as part of an offender’s sentence. This means that a judge may sentence an individual to five years total for their offense. They may choose to sentence two years in jail and then grant probation for the remaining three years of the sentence. Similarly, a parole board can grant an individual parole for the remainder of their sentence if they had good behavior.

Privilege: Neither parole nor probation is a right of any offender. Instead, it is a privilege the judge or parole board can offer.

Call Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC Today for Help with Criminal Charges

If you have been arrested or charged with a criminal offense you want an experienced and compassionate attorney to represent your rights. We understand that to have a superior defense you must go on the offense.

During your free consultation, we’ll give you an honest appraisal of your case. Once you have hired us, we work as a cohesive team to give you the best defense possible. Call Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC at (312) 644-0444 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation today. Don’t wait until it’s too late to hire your own Chicago criminal defense attorney.