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My bf was sentenced to 3 yrs probation for attempted assault w/o intent to kill back in May of 2011. He is afraid he violated.

Gainesville, FL |

He was at a sports bar with some friends when an incident occurred that he witnessed. The police were called by someone and when they arrived, asked him about the incident since people in the place pointed to him as being near the "scene" when it occurred. He is dealthly afraid he is going to get a VOP since he had contact with a law enforcement officer although he didn't do anything illegal. I am begging for any advice someone can give as to what we should do. Do we hire an attorney? Does he tell his PO? He was not given a citation or anything, but his name and information were taken by the officer. Did he violate? He is so afraid he is going to jail for VOP since one of his conditions of probation is not having contact w/ a law enforcement officer. Please HELP!!

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Attorney answers 5

Best Answer

Contact with law enforcement does not generally include being a WITNESS to a crime.
Based upon the facts that you indicate I don't believe that his contact as a witness will violate his probation.


It always makes sense to talk to his PO, and to let him know up front. This does not sound like a violation, and the PO would appreciate hearing from your boyfriend up front.


"The police were called by someone and when they arrived, asked him about the incident since people in the place pointed to him as being near the "scene" when it occurred. .... He was not given a citation or anything, but his name and information were taken by the officer."

Which is to say, the police already have his information and his presence at the scene is a matter of record.

As has been noted, merely being a witness is not, of and by itself, a likely basis for a parole violation. Failing to notify a PO of such an incident may be construed as concealing activities which, as the police are already aware of them, the PO will likely learn about anyway.

The foregoing is for general information purposes and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.


I have to agree in part and disagree in part with my colleagues variously.

To clarify, contact with a law enforcement officer as a witness is not an adequate predicate for a violation as same conduct does not fall within the scope and intended intent of the terminology used (i.e. contat with a law enforcement officer).

However, I don't think I would take the express train down to visit with him or her as being in a sports bar WHERE ALCOHOL IS SERVED AND IT COULD BE VERIFIED THROUGH THE ESTABLISIHMENT'S PERSONNEL SHOULD HE PERCHANCE HAVE BEEN IMBIBING WOULD QUALIFY.

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This question was not a goof. The establishment he as at was a sports bar/RESTAURANT a la Buffalo Wild Wings, Hooters, etc. He was actually drinking coffee and was there to watch a football game as he does not have tv at home (he lives with his mother and she doesnt believe in tv--religious). It is an establishment close to his home and his friends frequent the place. Thank you for your advice.

Thomas Klemens Almquist

Thomas Klemens Almquist


That does depend on the specific terms of probation. Some probation terms would not let him go to a place like what you described. Again, talking to his PO first is better than not mentioning it at all, as that helps in the long run.


I doubt the contact with the police will violate him, but being at an establishment where alcohol is served may be a problem - most probations usually prohibit consuming alcohol and/or going to bars.

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