Yes, my probation rules state "Permit your supervision officer to visit you at home, place of work, or elsewhere." But does this mean they can just walk into my house whenever they want? Or they can knock on the door, and I can just go outside to talk to them? Or do I have to let them in? "Visiting me at my home" can mean different things to me.
It may seem like a huge invasion of your privacy--and it is--but your PO can perform a warrantless search of your home. The scope and extent can be restricted by state law, but for all intents and purposes, you will just have to suffer through it. If you meet them at the door, you don't have to invite them in for dinner, but be accommodating to make the process go as smoothly as possible.
Generally speaking, the court is permitted to set reasonable rules for a probation.
Visit at home, work, or elsewhere is generally understood in Texas criminal courts to include coming inside.
Some, probably most, sets of conditions these days also say the probationer must submit to a search upon request of the probation officer. This is generally thought to be enforceable also.
If you want to try to limit the probation officer's visits, you really need to get a good criminal defense lawyer to assist you.
I always tell my clients that PO can be your friend or your enemy. Normally, PO will not visit you at work because they don't want you to lose your job. However, they will call to verify employment. As for home visit, they will do that if they suspect violation. The agreement you signed give them the authority to come to your house and that is a part of the conditions of being on probation.
Yes, but they should knock first. Maybe, the PO could call you or notify you of visit but then they lose the surprise effect. If you don't let the PO in you can be revoked of probation for failure to comply.
When you agree to terms and conditions of probation you effectively are incarcerated absent of jail. Simply put, you have no right to privacy, your probation officer and Judge on your case control your destiny. The probation department works for the Judge in essence to control those receiving probation in lieu of jail or prison. This in turn (at least theoretically) keeps jails from overcrowding. So in short, your PO can visit you, drug test, search your fridge for alcohol, discuss your job with employer, etc. if you refuse the PO entry to your home the PO can file a motion to revoke probation and the DA will prosecute. Remember you are being supervised by the PO for the Judge, not the DA, so when you violate probation you are directly disobeying the Judge over your case.
I explain to my clients here in New York that some NY counties still have an office called ATI - Alternatives to Incarceration - attached to Probation. The concept underlying Probation is that jail might well be appropriate, but you being given an opportunity to prove yourself at a lower level of supervision. Probation is invasive, and they have very wide discretion, because whatever their discretion your privacy is not invaded as if you were actually in jail.
On a practical note, the more your prove yourself and cooperate, the less restrictive your supervision is likely to become.
Good luck to you.
Christopher I. Simser, Sr.
Syracuse- Albany - Rochester - buffalo
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