Probation is a method of resolving a case that does not result in an extended time behind bars. To receive probation, you will plead guilty, the judge will find you guilty, and you will have a final conviction on your record forever. The court will then sentence you to a term of incarceration within the punishment range, but probate (suspend) the sentence for period of time. During this period of probation, you will be ordered to complete a term of community supervision, instead of an extended incarceration. This may last as short as a few months, or may extend through a few years.
Compliance with court ordered conditions of community supervision may include numerous conditions, to extensive to list here. Some examples are a home detention program (house arrest), assigned community service, enrollment and attendance in special classes and even a large fine. The judge may also require you to serve a small amount of time in jail (up to 90 days for a felony, 60 days for a misdemeanor, or 10 days for a petty). If you violate any term of your probation, you may be sent to jail to complete the original suspended sentence.