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Can a probation officer force me to do jail time or treatment for a new criminal charge without violating me?

Durham, NC |

LET ME START BY SAYING HOW GREAT IT IS TO HAVE A WEBSITE LIKE THIS AND TO HAVE SO MANY HELPFUL PROFFESIONALS OFFER THEIR ADVICE, I THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR HELP IN ADVANCE!! Ok so my probation officer is trying to say that I need to go to 3 months of drug treatment because my UA's are coming up false positive or positive from my medications. She also said that if i didnt do treatment i would have to do 30 days in jail because i was convicted of a new crime. She HAS NOT violated me to be able to do this. what can i do to fight it or appeal her decision? I should atleast be able to get a chance in front of a judge before having something like that happen I would think. And incase you need it I am on probation in Wisconsin but i reside in North Carolina!

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Attorney answers 3


Sadly, this is our new law here in North Carolina via the Justice Reinvestment Act. Yes, your probation officer can send you to jail for UP TO 90 days (called a 90 day "dip") for a misdemeanor and 90 days for a felony. A positive drug test would be a basis of a probation violation. There would be no requirement of a court hearing. Probation officer can pick you up, take you to jail, and then you are set up with a court date. As you can see, this Act gave probation A LOT of power. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. You may want to consider hiring a local attorney to assist you in the preparation of the probation violation charge that seems to be around the corner.

Call Trial Attorney Dustin RT Sullivan at (910) 508-2200 or visit us at to find out more.



she is not doing a probation violation, she is just imposing her authoritive delegation, i had to sign a piece of paper stating i am bumped up to intensive supervision and 50hrs comm service and a curfew. I got a new charge so i was waiting for my violation but all she did was impose sanctions. she said that there is no way to appeal it and that there was not going to be a court date.



also, i am on medications that make me come up positive and she knows it and i bring in my bottles to show her and she still wanted to send me to a rehab facility. How can she do that without reason?

Dustin R. T. Sullivan

Dustin R. T. Sullivan


There are some issues here that would be best left up to the Court. I would recommend speaking to a local attorney who has a relationship with the probation officers. When these issues happen with my clients, I can at least speak to the probation officer on my clients behalf and have a better idea on what they expect from my client and what the probation intends to do. The community service issue you listed is something within the scope of probation's power now thanks to the Act described above.


First, the Criminal Justice Reinvestment Act does delegate additional authority to the probation officer, but does not permit the officer to unilaterally send the probationer to jail for 90 days for a Confinement in Response to Violation (CRV). That can only be done by the judge.

A PO can use quick dips - a total of 18 days - without going to court. But the PO must give the probationer notice (in writing) of the probationer's right to seek review of any of these modifications by a judge. If you disagree with any modification, talk to a lawyer and seek review by a judge.

As to the other issues - it is true that a new criminal conviction (to something other than a Class 3 misdemeanor) can lead to a full revocation of probation.

You may want to talk to a lawyer about this issue. There's a lot packed into your question.

<a href="">Raleigh criminal lawyer</a> Damon Chetson represents people in Raleigh, Cary, Apex, and the rest of Wake County, North Carolina. The information provided here is for educational purposes only and should not be relied upon as the specific facts may change the potential advice. Consult with a licensed <a href="">Raleigh criminal lawyer</a> or attorney in your jurisdiction about your legal question or problem. For a free consultation about a North Carolina case, call (919) 352-9411 day or night, any day of the week.


You have already heard from the other attorneys that the PO does have quite a bit of power but I would look at the issue in a different way. If you have been convicted of a new crime, the PO could easily recommend violation and you could be sentenced by the judge to the amount of time suspended. Your PO sounds like she wants to help you. Believe me, the judge is typically not your ally. Go to the rehab knowing that we can always benefit form their advice and be grateful that your PO cares.

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