At first glance, there are a number of similarities between probation and parole. Since they both lead to the outcome of a defendant spending less time in prison, confusion ensues as to how the two differ. Taking a closer look at probation and parole reveals that they actually involve entirely different legal procedures. Here are a few of the key differences between probation and parole.
Differences Between Probation and Parole
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, probation refers to adult offenders who a court places on supervision in their community via a probation agency. Broadly speaking, probation is designed to replace incarceration and time in prison. Parole, on the other hand, refers to criminal offenders who are conditionally released from prison, with the caveat that they are then required to serve the remainder of a prison sentence in the community.
A Closer Look Into Arizona Probation
If an Arizona defendant is given probation, the process will be overseen by the US. Probation Office, District of Arizona. Jurisdictions may choose to use a combination of short-term incarceration that is followed by a period of probation, which is referred to in the legal community as a split sentence. Regardless of whether a defendant receives probation in lieu of incarceration or a split sentence, there are conditions an offender must fulfill to avoid a probation violation.
Examples of conditions an offender may be required to fulfill include:
- The payment of a fine and/or victim restitution
- The payment of court costs
- Staying away from known criminals
- Avoiding the use of drugs, alcohol and other illegal substances
- Avoiding contact with individuals protected by a legal restraining order
- Entering into a treatment program for substance abuse
- Abiding by all Arizona laws
Should an offender violate any terms of their probation, a probation violation will occur. The Adult Probation Services Division(APSD) handles the statewide administration and oversight for Arizona’s adult probation programs and procedures. The APSD is designs programs and services in accordance with the state’s statutory and administrative guidelines, which would dictate how a probation violation in the state is resolved.
An Arizona criminal defense lawyer helps defendants negotiate for probation as part of a plea bargain, whenever possible. This helps defendants increase the chance of receiving a more favorable outcome in their criminal defense case.
How Parole Differs From Probation
As mentioned, parole involves offenders who are conditionally released from prison to serve the rest of their sentence in an Arizona community. Arizona statutes guide how a prisoner is released in many cases, and in others, a parole board may choose to release a prisoner into the community (this is known as a discretionary release).
In effect, a parole always occurs after a prisoner is released. And, unlike probation, the U.S. Parole Commission grants parole, not the court. If released on parole, you will be supervised by the Arizona Department of Corrections.
While parole differs from probation in these key ways, parole shares the similarity of needing to fulfill similar conditions. For example, court-ordered restitution, education classes and drug treatment programs will be determined by the parole board, and it is an offender’s responsibility to fulfill these obligations. Should a parolee violate the terms and conditions of their parole, it could result in being sent back to prison to serve the sentence remainder.
An Arizona criminal defense attorney often works on behalf of their Arizona clients to help them qualify for parole in order to shorten their client’s time in prison.
You won’t find a more personal defense than the one you’ll get from the criminal defense attorneys at Tyler Allen Law Firm. We’re dedicated to working with you at every step of the legal process to make sure you get the best possible outcome for your situation. Give us a call at (602)456-0545 today to get the help you’ve been looking for.