There are three types of time sentences—Jail, Prison, and the Probation Detention Center. A felony conviction can place you in any one of these. If a felony is reduced to a misdemeanor charge, or if you are convicted of a misdemeanor, or if you are on misdemeanor probation you will be placed in jail, no matter the length of the sentence.
The maximum punishment for misdemeanors is up to 12 months in jail. Sentencing for many criminal offenses, both felonies and misdemeanors, often involves probation. Once convicted, a sentence can include straight jail time, straight probation, or a combination of jail and probation.
Straight Jail Time
Straight jail time means you are sentenced to a term of jail time without any probation following. Once your time is served, you are no longer under any court ordered supervision.
Straight probation means you are sentenced to a term of probation that includes no jail time. If you never violate the terms of your probation, you will never spend one day in jail. One caveat, it is possible to be placed in a State Detention Center for a period of time as a condition of probation. Although technically this is probation and not jail, you are in a State Institution and cannot leave.
Combination of Jail and Probation
A combination of jail and probation is just as it sounds. For example, a judge could impose a 4 year sentence with the first 2 years to be served in jail and the last 2 years served on probation. Once your jail sentence is up, you will report to your probation officer and serve the remainder of the sentence on probation.