If you have been convicted of a crime in Tennessee after going through a , you may be wondering what your chances are of parole or probation. You may also be wondering what the difference is between them. While there are some similarities with parole and probation, these do differ in some significant ways. Knowing these differences means knowing what could happen if you are offered any of these options. Be sure to talk to a Tennessee criminal law lawyer if you have questions about seeking and maintaining parole or probation. 

What is Parole?

Parole is an order granted by the state that allows you to be released from jail on the condition that you follow certain rules and report to your parole officer. The main difference between parole and probation is that parole is granted after you have already served a portion of your jail sentence. With almost any kind of major legal decision like this, there are certain rules and standards that need to be met.

Scheduled hearings are what determines whether a person is eligible for parole. In general, you need three votes by the Board of Parole for minor crimes and four votes for major crimes to be approved. These voting decisions are made based on what crime you committed, how severe your crime was, how well you have cooperated in jail, and how much time you have served so far. 

Parole is commonly denied when the board suspects that the incarcerated person will not cooperate with the rules of parole once released or they feel that releasing the person would not be in the best interest of society, given the severity and nature of the crime.

Once you are released from prison, you will be mandated to report to your parole officer. A parole officer has the power to have people arrested if they breach their parole contract or commit illegal activities. 

What is Probation?

Probation is different from parole because probation is granted before the jail sentence even starts. The investigation into whether you are eligible for probation starts before your criminal trial and is conducted by a probation officer. If you are considered for probation, then your probation officer will generate a presentence investigation report on whether you can be safely released on probation.

This report will consider your history, crime, and related factors. Criminal courts will use this report as their primary source of information for determining whether you qualify for probation. Courts will decide on what programs, therapy, or other requirements you must fulfill during probation. A failure to cooperate with these requirements could result in a reversal of your probation. This means you could be sentenced to jail. 

Criminal Law Lawyer in Tennessee 

Figuring out how to qualify for parole or probation can be difficult without some legal assistance. Call Davis Law Firm at 865-354-3333 to speak with a Criminal law lawyer in Tennessee today. We are located in McMinnville, Johnson City, Sparta, Kingston, Crossville, Cookeville, and the surrounding areas. Our team of lawyers can help you with the parole or probation process and can aid in your defense if you were accused of breaching parole or probation.