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How can my probation officer find out if I leave the country for a week by plane??

Fort Worth, TX |

I am on probation for a dwi in Texas. I saw my probation officer for the first time on tuesday. My grandfather had a heart attack and a pace maker put in a month ago and is still in frail condition in Mexico. My probation officer will not allow me to go. She is very rude and seems to be on a power trip. I have my plane ticket and my days off from work ready for me to leave on Saturday (tomorrow). If I don't go I risk not only loosing $525 plane ticket, but possibly also the last chance to see my grandfather alive. I've made up my mind and I will go. I will post again when I get back from my trip (and maybe out of jail) and let you all know if the probation officer really does look up these kind of things. I would appreciate input from anyone. Thanks!

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

Your probation officer cannot give you permission to travel out of the country. In fact, the officer cannot give you permission to travel out of the state under the compact agreement. It is not about a power tirp, but about what they can and cannot do.

What you should have done immediately when you learned of the situation was to hire a lawyer to talk to the judge. (I recently got a court order allowing a client on felony bond to travel to his native country of China. BUT, we went through the right channels.)

If you admit to your probation officer that you traveled out of the country, you are likely to get a motion to revoke your probation. If you get into ANY difficulty while out of this country, then it is likely your probation officer will find out.

It is a shame about your grandfather. But, unfortunately, you alone are responsible for putting yourself in this position.

Although I have answered the question to try to help you, you should consult with a lawyer in your area in person on the matter. In addition, my answer does not establish an attorney-client relationship between us.

Asker

Posted

I came back a week ago from Mexico and I saw my probation officer this morning. She asked me if I had traveled and ofcourse I said no. She didn't make a big deal of it and we continued with the rest of the probation visit. I am not saying that this was the right way to do things. In reality most people dont have the kind of money to rehire an attorney to continue to speak for you. Trying to get permission from the judge would have taken days and time off work and it was time I did not have. I took a chance and everything turned out ok. You are right Ms. Henley, the probation officer cannot give you permission to go but they can recommend the court to give you permission. In my case my probation officer said she would request the permission from the court, but she said she would also add that she did not recommend it. I requested the permission on the first day I saw her (Tuesday). I had to leave by Saturday. She never even give me a call back to tell me if it was approved or denied. The probation officer's system is not connected to any immigration system. So long as you do not get in trouble abroad there should be no reason why you could not travel while on probation. It is ALWAYS best to go throught the right channels, but in my case I felt that I did not have very many options left.

Posted

You could have requested to speak her supervisor about the purpose of your travel. I was a probation officer in Dallas and granted reasonable and necessary travel requests and issued travel permits. Traveling without permission is a violation of your terms as you seem to know since you mention jail. Good luck. M. Irene Wilson

My answer is for informational purposes and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Call me to hire me as your attorney.

Asker

Posted

I came back a week ago from Mexico and I saw my probation officer this morning. She asked me if I had traveled and ofcourse I said no. She didn't make a big deal of it and we continued with the rest of the probation visit. I am not saying that this was the right way to do things. In reality most people dont have the kind of money to rehire an attorney to continue to speak for you. Trying to get permission from the judge would have taken days and time off work and it was time I did not have. I took a chance and everything turned out ok. You are right Ms. Henley, the probation officer cannot give you permission to go but they can recommend the court to give you permission. In my case my probation officer said she would request the permission from the court, but she said she would also add that she did not recommend it. I requested the permission on the first day I saw her (Tuesday). I had to leave by Saturday. She never even give me a call back to tell me if it was approved or denied. The probation officer's system is not connected to any immigration system. So long as you do not get in trouble abroad there should be no reason why you could not travel while on probation. It is ALWAYS best to go throught the right channels, but in my case I felt that I did not have very many options left.

Posted

Although I've read dozens of Ms. Henley's answers on AVVO, and have nearly always agreed with her 100%, I have to take issue somewhat with her answer to this question. Though perhaps technically correct, it misses an potentially easy solution to your problem.

The judge sets the terms and conditions of your probation, and the judge may make exceptions at any time for good cause shown. If you simply go back to court and ask the judge, I would imagine that he or she would make an exception for you under the circumstances. You may wish to hire a lawyer to assist you, or you may choose to approach the judge on your own.

The probation officer can file a motion to revoke your probation at any time, but only the judge can actually revoke you, or take other disciplinary action.

I would have little respect for a judge who refused to allow a misdemeanor DWI defendant to take a week or so to visit an elderly (and potentially dying) close relative. If you were on probation for dealing drugs, and if those drugs were believed to have been obtained in Mexico, that might be another matter...but a simple DWI? Come on...

Having said that, I am sure that there are some judges who would deny such a request and revoke you in a heartbeat if you took the trip without their permission. Such is the legal business... What is legal isn't always what's right.

Best wishes. I hope everything works out well for you.

Asker

Posted

I came back a week ago from Mexico and I saw my probation officer this morning. She asked me if I had traveled and ofcourse I said no. She didn't make a big deal of it and we continued with the rest of the probation visit. I am not saying that this was the right way to do things. In reality most people dont have the kind of money to rehire an attorney to continue to speak for you. Trying to get permission from the judge would have taken days and time off work and it was time I did not have. I took a chance and everything turned out ok. You are right Ms. Henley, the probation officer cannot give you permission to go but they can recommend the court to give you permission. In my case my probation officer said she would request the permission from the court, but she said she would also add that she did not recommend it. I requested the permission on the first day I saw her (Tuesday). I had to leave by Saturday. She never even give me a call back to tell me if it was approved or denied. The probation officer's system is not connected to any immigration system. So long as you do not get in trouble abroad there should be no reason why you could not travel while on probation. It is ALWAYS best to go throught the right channels, but in my case I felt that I did not have very many options left.

Asker

Posted

Hey quick question...I'm wanting to go to California because my uncle that's like my father had cancer he passed away and his funeral is on March 2 && I just visited my p.o today she seems nice but I really don't want to mention that I'm leaving the state. Should I go? Like do they check your background at the airport or what? Like I have never on a plane so I'm freaking out :/ can you please help me out :/

Asker

Posted

Hey quick question...I'm wanting to go to California because my uncle that's like my father had cancer he passed away and his funeral is on March 2 && I just visited my p.o today she seems nice but I really don't want to mention that I'm leaving the state. Should I go? Like do they check your background at the airport or what? Like I have never on a plane so I'm freaking out :/ can you please help me out :/

Asker

Posted

Hey quick question...I'm wanting to go to California because my uncle that's like my father had cancer he passed away and his funeral is on March 2 && I just visited my p.o today she seems nice but I really don't want to mention that I'm leaving the state. Should I go? Like do they check your background at the airport or what? Like I have never on a plane so I'm freaking out :/ can you please help me out :/

Asker

Posted

Hey quick question...I'm wanting to go to California because my uncle that's like my father had cancer he passed away and his funeral is on March 2 && I just visited my p.o today she seems nice but I really don't want to mention that I'm leaving the state. Should I go? Like do they check your background at the airport or what? Like I have never on a plane so I'm freaking out :/ can you please help me out :/

Asker

Posted

Hey quick question...I'm wanting to go to California because my uncle that's like my father had cancer he passed away and his funeral is on March 2 && I just visited my p.o today she seems nice but I really don't want to mention that I'm leaving the state. Should I go? Like do they check your background at the airport or what? Like I have never on a plane so I'm freaking out :/ can you please help me out :/

Asker

Posted

Hey quick question...I'm wanting to go to California because my uncle that's like my father had cancer he passed away and his funeral is on March 2 && I just visited my p.o today she seems nice but I really don't want to mention that I'm leaving the state. Should I go? Like do they check your background at the airport or what? Like I have never on a plane so I'm freaking out :/ can you please help me out :/

Asker

Posted

Sorry I posted it soo many times my computer is something else.

John M. Gioffredi

John M. Gioffredi

Posted

SHOULD you go? That's up to you. It's a violation of your probation, and could get your probation revoked. Having said that, there clearly are some things more inportant than your probation. You have to decide if this is one of those things. If you decide to go, see my original answer for my advice on how to do it legally. I've never heard of any US citizen being detained or arrested on a domestic flight unless they have an active warrant. Good luck!

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