If you have a criminal court case, you may need to know the difference between probation and parole. Understanding the differences can help you make your court case successful and allow you to make the best choices as your case progresses.

While both probation and parole are a kind of court supervision, there are some key differences. Here’s what you need to know about the difference between probation and parole from our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys.

What’s the Difference Between Probation and Parole?

Parole is a term of court supervision that follows release from prison while probation is any other kind of court supervision. Probation can begin after a term in jail, or it can begin without someone serving any jail time at all. Parole is something that follows longer periods of incarceration that take place in state prison. Probation is either an alternative to jail, or it follows a term in a local jail facility.

What Is Probation in Nevada?

Probation in Nevada is a period of formal court supervision that acts as an alternative to incarceration. When you’re placed on probation in Nevada, you’re not incarcerated. Instead, you agree to follow terms and conditions instead of being put in jail. As long as you follow the rules of probation during your probationary period, you stay out of jail.

When Are You Eligible for Probation in Nevada?

A term of probation may follow a misdemeanor or felony charge in Nevada. You may get probation as long as the court doesn’t sentence you to prison. If you go to prison instead of jail, you get parole when you’re released instead of probation. However, even if you’re convicted of a felony, as long as the court sentences you to serve time only in a local jail, you may receive probation instead of parole upon your release. The court may also decide not to impose any jail time and simply place you on probation.

If you’re convicted of a crime, the court may or may not sentence you to probation. If you’re convicted of an offense with a maximum of one year in jail, the court may order you to serve the entire year in jail. If they sentence you to the max, you don’t have any probation to serve when you’re released. Once you serve the maximum time in jail, the court doesn’t have any way to sentence you to more jail time if you violate probation, so there’s no probation.

What Is Parole in Nevada?

Parole in Nevada is supervised release from prison. The court gives you specific rules to follow if you want to remain out of prison. Rules might include avoiding using alcohol and drugs and not committing new crimes. If you follow the rules, you remain free from prison without having to serve the maximum sentence for your case.

Differences Between Probation and Parole in Nevada

In some ways, probation and parole are a lot alike. You’re going to have a similar set of rules to follow like avoiding the use of alcohol and drugs and avoiding criminal activity. You may have to take drug and alcohol tests and check in with your probation or parole officer. The exact terms of your probation and parole depend on your personal circumstances, your offense, and the court that imposes the sentence.

What Happens If You Violate Probation in Nevada?

If you violate probation in Nevada, the court may issue a summons for you to appear in court or you may be arrested. You have a right to a hearing about whether you’ve violated the terms of your probation. If the court finds you guilty of the probation violation, they may send you to jail or continue your probation. They may also impose a fine and change the terms of your probation.

What Happens If You Violate Parole in Nevada?

If you violate parole, the parole board must decide whether to revoke your parole status. Nevada law says that the court may consider the following factors in making their decision:

  • Whether the person committed a new crime
  • Similar patterns and behavior that led to the criminal conviction
  • Use of drugs and alcohol
  • Unwillingness to follow the terms of probation
  • Dangers to the community

You have a right to a hearing if you’re accused of violating parole, but the court may arrest you ahead of the hearing. The judge must look at the evidence and the facts to decide if you violated the terms of your parole.

Standard to Revoke Parole in Nevada

To have your parole revoked in Nevada, you must violate one or more terms of your probation. The court may not simply decide that they don’t like you anymore or that they don’t think you’re going to comply with the terms of your probation in the future. Instead, you must violate one of the terms of your parole.

What Should I Do If I’m Accused of Violating Probation or Parole in Nevada?

If you’re accused of violating probation or parole in Nevada, you should aggressively address the charges. You have a right to know the details of the accusations against you. You have the right to an attorney and a right to testify on your own behalf. When you learn all that you can about the allegations and secure the assistance of an experienced criminal attorney, you can address the charges in the best possible way.

It’s up to the state to prove that you violated the terms of your supervised release. You have a right to present a defense. Your attorney can help you evaluate all of the evidence and determine the best course of action.

Las Vegas Probation Attorneys / Las Vegas Parole Attorneys

Do you have questions about probation or parole? Are you facing an allegation of a probation or parole violation? The attorneys at Half Price Lawyers can help.

You have rights, and we fight for the rights of our clients every day. We want to help you understand the terms of your probation and parole and aggressively fight charges of probation or parole violation. There’s no cost to call our legal team. Contact us today.

About the Author

Mark Coburn, Esq.

Mark Coburn is a dedicated and experienced defense attorney serving the Southern Nevada area. His passion for the law and commitment to his clients has made him one of the most prominent defense attorneys in Nevada. If you’re in need of a defense attorney, contact Mark Coburn for a free consultation on your case.