What is the difference between probation and parole?
Probation is an alternative to incarceration that involves a set of conditions with which the offender must comply in order to avoid jail or other sanctions. Parole is a form of early release from jail, that also imposes a set of conditions with which the offender must comply in order to avoid returning to jail.
What types of offenders are eligible for probation?
While probation can be applied to any case, from low-level misdemeanors to serious felonies, it is usually granted for first-time and low-risk offenders. Felony probation rules vary from state to state, and most states exempt certain crimes from probation eligibility, including murder, crimes involving injury to children, and certain sex offenses.
How long does probation last?
The lengths of probation orders vary based on the laws of the state and the nature of the offense. Probation orders are typically valid for between one and three years. However, much longer probation orders are possible, including lifetime probation.