Parole vs. Probation in Maryland

Parole vs. Probation in MarylandIf you’ve been arrested in Maryland, it’s important to know the differences between probation and parole. While there are some similarities, such as individuals on probation and individuals on parole are all monitored by the Parole and Probation Division of the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, there are also significant differences.


Probation is when a judge orders someone to do something or refrain from doing something for a period of time after sentencing. If someone fails to follow the conditions of probation they could end up with a probation violation and face the jail time the probation was intended to avoid. The conditions imposed on someone’s probation are usually related to the nature of the crime with which they were charged. Common conditions can include things like:

  • Regular meetings with a probation officer
  • Community service
  • Attend work and/or school
  • Participate in an alcohol rehabilitation program
  • Fines and financial restitution
  • No alcohol consumption
  • No firearms or other weapons possession

Probation violations should not be taken lightly. While you may be strictly adhering to probation conditions such as not committing a crime and not consuming alcohol, it’s important to be aware that there are more minor conditions that can trip you up. So-called “technical” probation violations such as showing up late to meetings with your probation officer or not completing all of your community service requirements are still violations and could lead to the police showing up at your door.


Parole is a decision by the Parole Commission that someone should be released from incarceration before their sentence is completed. Maryland law defines parole as “discretionary and conditional release of an offender into the community to continue serving the sentence under supervision.” Offenders released on parole are given conditions similar to probation. As with probation, violation of any of these conditions is grounds for a revocation of the parole hearing. If the parolee violates the conditions of release, he or she must serve the remainder of their sentence in prison. An offender who violates parole conditions can also be subject to further penalties.


If you’ve been arrested in Maryland, you want an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. The attorneys at Alpert Schreyer, LLC, are here to provide you with the best possible defense. Contact us online or call us at (301) 494-9620 to schedule your free consultation.

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