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I am on probation for selling and delivering cocaine. My probation officer told me that he will arrest me if I go out of state.

Durham, NC |

I am on probation for selling and delivering cocaine. My probation officer told me that he will arrest me if I go out of state to visit my family. Isn't there a constitutional right to see family and travel within the USA? Can I just tell my probation officer he is crazy?

Attorney Answers 5


  1. Don't tell your PO he is crazy, because he isn't. When you are under the terms of felony probation, you are subject to many conditions that otherwise would be unconstitutional on a private citizen. For example, you have been subject to warrantless searches, mandatory drug testing, checking in with your PO, etc. You must obtain the permission of your PO to travel out of state or you can be violated, especially because you have already discussed your plans with him. If you abscond, which would be the violation, your probation could be revoked by a judge and your sentence activated. The PO could also violate you for failing to make yourself unavailable for supervision while you are out of state.


  2. I absolutely agree with the previous attorney. Probation is "instead of" jail. Your rights are diminished when you are on probation. If you think your P.O. is being unreasonable, hire an attorney to try to present your situation in the most positive light possible to the P.O. and request a hearing with the judge.

    Please consult with your own lawyer before following any opinions I am expressing here. If you do not have a lawyer on a criminal case, you better get one. You should not be looking for free advice as a substitute for having your own qualified advocate working with you on the case.


  3. You need to take a trip to the courthouse and get the judgment you received. Then READ it. You obviously need to review the conditions of your probation. This is your way to stay out of jail, and arguing with your probation officer is not a way to accomplish that.


  4. While I completely agree with the previous posts, you can hire an attorney to draft a motion allowing a privilege to travel. It is in the discretion of the court whether to grant it or deny it and it is helpful if you are polite and cooperative to your probation officer.


  5. All of the advice these other attorneys are giving you is spot on. The thing I will add is that if you are cooperative with your P.O. and respectful and easy to deal with, your P.O. will tend to approve requests that are within his/her discretion. Probation is a privilege in that you are not in jail. Treat it as such and it won't feel so oppressive.

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