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No drinking order while on probation even though alcohol is part of my religion

East Lansing, MI |

I am a catholic who is above 21 and as we all know wine is the blood of Jesus in my religion and is part of taking communion. I might go on probation for an offense that does not involve alcohol and one of the requirements will probably be no alcohol. Wouldnt this violate my right to freedom of religion? Can they really require this? I understand them not wanting me to abuse alcohol but telling me I cant drink at all dosent sound right. The offesne is for marijuana if that makes a difference or not.

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Attorney answers 4


Any time a substance is involved the court will generally ban all alcohol and illegal drugs. As a matter of public policy rehabilitation is a goal of sentencing. The court doesn't want an a person substituting one drug for another.

You are correct that there is a right to the freedom of religion. The problem is that not all Catholics partakes in the sacrament and it won't stop you from practicing the your faith.


It will be a fascinating case. You can watch how it progresses from jail.

I went to Ave Maria School of Law, and even we did not think of trying to use the Sacrament as a defense against criminal behavior. You can consult with your Priest to see what alternatives may exist.

I suggest you not profane the Holy Mother Church and focus instead on your drug problem. The first step is to acknowledge that you do have a drug problem - one that made you into a criminal. Then, continue the 12 steps. You can attend NA, or seek a counselor through Catholic Social Services. Best of luck to you.

We do not have a client/attorney relationship until you make an appointment, we discuss your case face to face, I accept a retainer, and we explictly agree to enter into representation.


Alcohol is not a REQUIRED part of your religion. In addition, you violated a law and got yourself placed on probation. While on probation or in jail, you relinquish some of your rights. Your freedom of belief cannot be restricted, but your freedom to act can. The probation conditions must only bear a logical relationship to rehabilitation. You're not going to get anywhere with this. Save yourself the trouble.


Simply put, the trace amount of alcohol that you would ingest as part of communion is about equal to what you would get from using mouthwash in the morning. If you have alcohol showing up in your system while you are on probation, you are not communing in the church, you are communing in a bar.

While you may believe your argument has some merit, frankly, it is a loser of a case and I don't know an attorney in their right mind who would attempt it.