Probation and conviction are terms used in criminal law.
A conviction results after a person is found guilty of a crime through either a trial or a plea. Once convicted, a person is sentenced by a judge, or in limited circumstances, a jury.
A sentence states what punishment will be imposed on person convicted of a crime. A sentence can be a fine, incarceration in jail or prison, probation, or a combination of all three.
Probation is a sentence that releases a person convicted of a crime into the community. A person can receive probation instead of being incarcerated. Probation can also be imposed after a person completes a period of time in jail or prison. Probation can vary in intensity depending upon whether formal or informal probation is imposed.
Formal probation requires a convicted person to report to the court or a probation officer as scheduled and complete certain ordered tasks performing community service or paying restitution. Informal probation typically requires the convicted to obey all laws.
Read More: Formal Vs. Informal Probation
If probation is violated, the convicted returns for imposition or execution of sentencing on the original conviction. A court can also impose a separate sentence for the probation violation.