The criminal justice system is very complex. If you find yourself facing charges, there are many things you’ll need to learn about. Felonies and misdemeanors are a case in point. So are probation and parole. If you’ve had to go to jail, you may be unsure about the differences between these two things. Your criminal lawyer can explain what these things mean and how they may apply to your case. Here’s a brief overview from criminal defense attorney Donald H. Barton.

What Is Parole?

In general, parole applies to felons who have been released from jail before their full sentence has been completed. A parole board may grant a criminal offender parole.

Parolees are usually required to file regular reports with a parole officer, either in person or through other methods of communication like phone or email. Parolees requiring regular check-ins are said to be under active supervision. Those who are considered inactive may have to report less frequently to law enforcement. These statuses are determined by a number of reasons, such as when a parolee completes certain conditions prior to their release.

Regardless of their status, a person who’s out on parole must uphold certain requirements and conduct themselves according to certain rules. If they fail to comply with parole requirements, they could be sent back to jail.

What Is Probation?

In contrast, probation is sometimes awarded as a substitute for a jail sentence. However, some circumstances may require a brief incarceration period followed by probation (split-sentence).

Like parole, people who are out on probation may have to report in to law enforcement. However, if the criminal offense was minor, someone could possibly be placed into the inactive status category.

Probation is similar to parole in another way. People who are out on probation may have to enter treatment for certain conditions, may have to pay a fine, or may have to pay court fees. If someone refuses to fulfill these requirements, they may have to go to jail.

When it comes to your criminal charge and its circumstances, make sure you’re getting all the information you need. Speak with a criminal lawyer in Brevard, NC by calling the law offices of Donald H. Barton.

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