Probation vs. Parole: What’s the Difference?


In Florida, probation and parole are two distinct forms of criminal sentencing. Probation is a form of criminal sentencing that allows an offender to serve their sentence in the community instead of jail or prison.  

During their probation, the offender must adhere to certain conditions set by the court and be supervised by a probation officer. Parole, on the other hand, is granted to those who have already served some portion of their sentence in prison and are released early into the community under supervision. 

The main difference between probation and parole is that probation is an alternative to incarceration while parole is only available after someone has served time in prison. Both probation and parole involving monitoring by a probation or parole officer and require the  

What Are the Probation Rules in Florida?  

Probation in Florida is a form of court-ordered supervision that does not require you to remain in jail, prison, or on house arrest (in most cases). According to Florida Statutes § 948.03, there are certain conditions that must be met while on probation. These conditions are considered standard and do not need to be orally pronounced at the time of sentencing. 

The most common conditions of probation include the completion of:  

  • mandatory reporting to a probation officer,  

  • restrictions on travel,  

  • random drug testing,  

  • community service,  

  • continued gainful employment,  

  • random home visits, 

  • mandated completion of counseling, and  

  • reparation or restitution payments to any aggrieved parties.  

While on probation, you may also be required to remain within certain locational limits and may have to wear an ankle monitor. You can also violate your probation if you commit another criminal offense while on probation.  

What Are the Rules of Parole in Florida?  

The duration for parole depends on the severity of the crime committed and other factors such as prior convictions, age at time of offense, etc. Generally speaking, parole lasts until the end date specified in the individual's court-imposed sentence or until they have completed all conditions set out by their probation officer. 

Parole usually requires more intensive supervision from a parole officer and may include curfews, drug testing, or travel restrictions. During this period, you will also not be permitted to possess firearms or any other weapons unless authorized by law enforcement personnel. Furthermore, mandatory counseling and testing may be required if deemed necessary by a judge or probation officer. 

How a Lawyer Can Help You While You’re on Probation or Parole  

Having an experienced lawyer can be beneficial when navigating through the legal process associated with probation or parole. A lawyer can help explain all the terms and conditions associated with probation or parole so that their client fully understands their rights and obligations. They can also give advice on how best to comply with these terms and conditions to avoid any potential violations that could lead to revocation of probation or parole.  

In addition to providing legal advice, an experienced lawyer can also provide aggressive representation if necessary. For instance, if there are any issues that arise during the course of probation or parole, such as allegations of violating the terms or conditions set forth by the court, then having a lawyer can be crucial in protecting your rights and interests at court hearings or meetings with probation officers. 

At the Law Office of Jody L. Fisher, our attorney is equipped to help clients with probation violation hearings. With decades of experience, Attorney Fisher can help you develop a personalized, creative, and effective defense strategy.  

Learn more about how our attorney can help you by calling (352) 503-4111.  

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