What’s the Difference Between Probation and Parole?

The terms probation and parole are often used interchangeably but, despite their similarities, remain distinct alternatives to jail time. Probation and parole are offered under different circumstances and follow separate processes, making it important to understand which one you or your loved one may be facing.

What Is Probation?

The Florida Department of Corrections defines probation as a period of supervision that cannot exceed the maximum jail sentence for the offense committed. Probation may be ordered instead of jail time, or after the suspension of a prison sentence.

Probationers remain under court supervision for the entirety of the program. They must abide by the terms assigned to them completely. Failure to follow the rules given to them by the court could cause the individual to receive the original sentence for the crime – which often involves imprisonment.

What Is Parole?

Parole, on the other hand, is a conditional early release from imprisonment. State correctional systems oversee the release, and the length of parole cannot exceed the time that the individual has remaining in their sentence.

When an individual is convicted of a crime, their sentence may include a possibility for parole. This allows the defendant to, after serving a specific percentage of their sentence, appear before the board and ask for early release, which typically involves parole.

Parolees and probationers are expected to follow the terms of their release carefully and completely. The conditions, while catered to each individual, often require the individual to hold a job, attend relevant rehab or counseling, and refrain from further criminal activity. If parole or probation terms are violated, the offender could go – or return – to jail.

Contact Hubbs Law Firm for more information about probation and parole in Florida.


Please note that by reading this blog you are not entering into an attorney-client relationship with Hubbs Law, P.A. This blog only provides general legal information. Every case is unique and you should request a consultation to ensure that you are getting the correct legal advice for your specific case.

Related Posts
  • Spring Break in Miami: Staying Safe and Legal Amidst Fun and Sun Read More
  • Can You Go to Jail for Faking an Online Dating Profile in Florida? Read More
  • Can Minors Be Prosecuted as Adults in Florida? Read More