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What is the Difference Between Probation, Parole, & Pardon?

Posted By D'Amore Law Firm || 22-Apr-2015

While terms like probation, parole, and pardon seem similar, the difference once explained are simple and clear.

Probation is essentially something that gets a person who has been charged with a criminal offense out of serving actual prison time. Probation is usually a set of conditions the accused must uphold such as maintaining a clean record for a set length of time, attending counseling or drug or alcohol abuse classes, etc. If the terms of probation are violated, the accused can be picked up and serve the jail sentence which was imposed at their trial.

Parole is granted to some who have already served a certain amount of jail time which can allow the prisoner to be released before their term has been fully served. Parole is community supervision under the control of a parole board, as opposed to court supervision as in a probation sentence, until the sentence is fully served.

In Texas, parole is for those convicted of a third degree felony or higher. At some point a convict can be eligible for parole and be granted a conditional release. The Texas parole board supervises parolees to ensure they uphold the condition of their parole as set by the parole board.

Types of Probation

More than one type of pardon exists in Texas: full, conditional, and pardon based on innocence. Pardons are only rarely given for misdemeanors. A full pardon is for felony sentences and are issued by the state governor. A full pardon essentially forgives you for a crime and most rights are restored to you such as citizenship rights, voting, serving on a jury, holding public office, and acting as the executor of an estate. Your conviction will stay on the public record but the pardon will as well.

Conditional pardons almost acts as parole—you will be free of your sentence under certain conditions which, if violated, the pardon can be revoked. Pardons based on innocence exonerate a person of whatever crime they were charged with and are only for felony convictions.

For a full understanding of your charges and potential penalties, call D'Amore Law Firm for experienced legal counsel. Attorney D'Amore has former prosecutorial experience and can go over your case with you during your free consultation.

Categories: Criminal Law, Probation

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