What are a probationer’s rights regarding their probation officer?

UPDATED: Aug 18, 2011

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What are a probationer’s rights regarding their probation officer?

I was wondering if probation officers are allowed to give ultimatums to their offenders. By saying things like, “If you set this person up to be arrested you won’t go to jail” on a violation. I know that if you do violate, you can be arrested but do you get to see a judge and plead your case and they can extend probation, revoke it, or incarcerate you. But, can a probation officer “threaten” someone like that?

Asked on August 18, 2011 North Carolina


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You need to have another PO assigned to your case. As a general rule, in most states Probation Officers are under the authority of the Department of Corrections.  If a probationer has a problem with their PO, the DOC will have a process for filing a grievance. However, before doing so, consult with your lawyer, or get one if you don't currently have one. They need to know just what is going on here. 

The fact of the matter is that, challenging a PO that crosses the line such as you have described, can have serious consequences. It may well make a bad situation worse.  Ask your attorney about applying for either a change of officers or for an early release.  

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