What to doabout an unreasonable term of probation?

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What to doabout an unreasonable term of probation?

My father is soon to be released on parole from a DUI Causing Death. His PO has already contacted my family with the restrictions being imposed. Most are pretty run of the mill, however the one that has us worried is that his officer wants him to check in twice a week, prior to noon. The problem is that my dad is being given his old position back where he worked prior to the sentence, which would make him unable to meet his issued times. The PO said, “I don’t care if he doesn’t have a job for 2 years, my job is to keep the streets safe.” Is this normal?

Asked on February 18, 2011 under Criminal Law, Michigan

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

As a general rule, in most states Probation Officers come under under the authority of the Department of Corrections.  If a person has a problem with their PO, the Corrections Dpeartment will have a process for filing a grievance.  However, before doing so, a parolee would be well-advised to speak with their attorney before they do this (or get an attorney if they don't currently have one). 

The fact is that, challenging a PO that crosses the line such as you have described here, can have serious consequences; it may even make a bad situation worse.  Ask your father's criminal defense lawyer about applying for a change of officers.  Technically, if his PO requires that he call-in at times that your father is unable to do so due to his work schedule, you may appeal the decision with the judge who presided over his trial.  However judges typically rule on the side of the probation officer in these matters, unless it can be demonstrated that the PO's decision places the parole at extreme hardship.  That's why it's best to have an experienced criminal law attorney help with all of this.


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