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If my son is on probation with a no alcohol clause can alcohol in my house be a violation against him?

Arroyo Grande, CA |

If beer/wine is in my house or in the refrigerator in the kitchen can that be used as a violation against my son if he has a no alcohol clause? He lives in the house sleeps on the couch. But we have a wine refrigerator that is locked, an alcohol cabinet that is locked but we keep beer in the main refrigerator do I need to lock that also?

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Attorney answers 4

Best Answer

He is not supposed to be in an area where he has access to alcohol. Despite all the locks (and the refrigerator to which he has access), his PO will take a dim view of his living arrangements.


I've had these situations before. The fact that it is close by and he's nearby may be considered constructive possession which may be considered a violation of the probation. It may end up being determined by the judge or prosecution. Good luck.
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Will it be considered a violation? It matters on the probation officer. If you seem aware of the potential for a violation and give the impression that you will be careful about keeping him away from the alcohol, the probation officer may not consider it a violation.

A safer way to just avoid the problem is just remove the alcohol from the home until he is off probation. Is that too much to ask?


To be on the safe side, you or your son ought to call your son's Probation Officer and ask. Opinions may differ among probation officers, so if his PO says "beer in the main fridge is okay" make sure you get that in writing.
If you just want to err on the side of caution, keep all the alcohol locked so he doesn't have access to it, and that includes beer.
When probation terms include "alcohol terms" that usually means "use or possess no alcohol" as well as "stay out of bars and liquor stores and other places where alcohol is the chief item for sale." Having beer in the fridge he uses does give him possession of the beer, in my opinion.
Locking the main fridge where you son would access food sounds like a horrible inconvenience for him, and also it's bound to fail -- someone will leave that fridge unlocked so your son can pour his own glass of milk, and *voila* he's got access to beer.
If your beer won't fit in your locked wine fridge, I recommend picking up a mini-fridge to keep the beer in. (You can get one for $75 at Walmart or a very nice one for $150 at Costco.) Much cheaper than hiring an attorney for a Probation Violation proceeding.
You and your son sound conscientious, genuinely trying to comply with Probation's rules, and I think that's a great sign, a good indicator that he'll complete probation successfully. Best wishes and good luck.