Understanding Parole versus Probation in Florida
Probation and parole are both related to the conviction of a crime, but these are two very distinct, separate punishments in the Florida criminal justice system. Probation is a form of punishment that does not always require incarceration, but it is used by the state for a specified period of time. Parole, on the other hand, allows incarcerated individuals to be prematurely released with a set of circumstances.
If the terms of probation or parole are violated in any way, an individual is subject to additional penalties and possibly incarceration.
Probation is used for juvenile and adult offenders whom the court places on supervision within the community via a probation agency in lieu of incarceration. Some jurisdictions in Florida will sentence probationers to a short term of incarceration as well as a sentence of probation to immediately follow. This is called a “split sentence.”
The supervision statuses of probation can vary greatly in Florida, from active supervision to inactive status – depending on the severity of the crime the individual was convicted of. If the offense was minimal, the individual may receive a reduction in supervision, but all offenders are still required to fulfil specific conditions of their probation, such as:
- Paying fines
- Paying fees or court costs
- Participating in treatment programs
- Obtaining and maintaining employment
There are also rules a probationer must follow while in the community and any failure to comply with the terms of their probation can result in a violation hearing and revocation.
Parole is used for criminal offenders who are conditionally released from prison and will serve the remaining portion of their sentence while in the community. A prisoner can be released on parole by the parole board (which is referred to as a discretionary release) or according to Florida statutes. Parolees will have different levels of supervision than a probationer and are often required to regularly report to their parole officer in person, by telephone or via mail. A parolee could be placed on inactive supervisory status if the nature of their crime is non-violent or after a period of being on actively supervised parole.
Have You Been Arrested for a Violation of the Terms of Your Release?
Probation and parole violations are very serious. Not only could it mean a revocation of your release, but it could mean additional years to be served, fines and fees. Contact The Armstrong Law Group, P.A. today regarding your parole or probation violation hearing. Schedule a consultation at 904-356-8618 or by filling out an online contact form.