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Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 15084
Experience:  18 yrs of NYS criminal defense. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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My probation officer called me today, asked me to come in to

Customer Question

My probation officer called me today, asked me to come in to his office tomorrow, when I asked what about he said he wasn't going to discuss over the phone and that I knew what it was about. Any help would be appreciated.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 2 years ago.
Hi,

Sounds like you are not going to be hearing good news, but if your PO says you already know what it's in reference to, you probably aren't completely in the dark.

Chances are this is just an inquiry about whatever he thinks you may have done/not done. You should show up. You probably won't be arrested. It takes time to lodge the violation and to get a supervisor to sign off on it. And if he wants to talk to you first it may not have to amount to a violation.

If your probation calls for random drug tests, however, be prepared to test, just in case.

Good luck.
Zoey, JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 15084
Experience: 18 yrs of NYS criminal defense. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
Zoey, JD and 8 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I know what it is about, I called when i was let go from my job and left a message and never heard back, I was stupid and thought it was ok because I was assigned to those dumb electronic reporting things and well I am being honest here as I will be tomorrow with him, I had a medical procedure and then a car accident (I have ER documents and will sign so he can call my doctor) and didn't follow up like I should.

I am totally prepared for drug test as I don't do drugs, I do have a glass of wine no and again but not in 3 days.

I was more concerned for being arrested. And it is not like i tried to hide anything I filed for unemployment, and was granted it I have and interview for a job tomorrow are any of these things in my favor for not being violated?

I even asked if we could be earlier as I had an 11 am appointment and he agreed is that a good sign?
Thanky you,
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 2 years ago.
Hi,

This all sounds pretty good to me. Be ready to document the medical issue and the accident, just so he can make sure that you're not making excuses. A little humility can go a long way with probation, and it's great that you can admit that you should have followed up.

Like I said before, I don't expect that he is calling you in just to arrest you. If he was only interested in that, he could just arrange for officers to put you in on your court date. Don't expect to walk out feeliing totally forgiven after the meeting with your PO either, though. Generally, they like to make you sweat a little about what they want from you. It's a reminder -- or so they think -- of who's in charge.

Good luck!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
So I wanted to follow up. I met with the probation officer and he wants me to check in with him every friday, and to know that I was horrible and bad to not tell them that I got laid off. Then he wants me to write an essay about why I lied and why I lied in my crime and why I lied now.

They said nothing about a violation and when I asked if I had to sign something they said no. I don't get this and can he make me discuss the original crime ? Assign me essays? this doesn't make sense.
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 2 years ago.
Hi,

Doesn't sound too bad at all. He's not violating you, but he just wants to remind you who's boss so that you do it right the next time. All things considered, you should be pretty pleased, even if it sounds more like a school assignment than like a sanction from someone in the criminal justice system.

If by the original crime you mean the crime for which you are presently on probation, yes, at this point you can answer the essay. You have already pled guilty to it and been sentenced. You probation officer isn't asking for details. It looks to me like he thinks you may have a tendency to lie when you get in trouble, and he probably just wants you to give that some thought in case there's some kind of trouble next time.

Yes, you have to do it, as silly as it sounds, because probation can impose new conditions on you when they think they are necessary. Lots of people don't like writing, especially about themselves, but you can handle that easily enough. Start off by telling him that you don't like writing and are not comfortable writing about yourself, but that you will do it a good try. No need to talk about every time you ever lied in your lifetime. Just apologize for the last lie. Tell him why you have thought sometimes that a lie might be more helpful than the truth (you can refer to your case then too in broad general terms) and end by promising him that you'd try to deal more honestly with him and everyone else in the future. Think of it like a school punishment assignment. You have to do it but it won't get graded. You ought to be able to knock something out quickly. If you'd like me to see it before you hand it over, you can post it here and I'll read it.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi, you were very helpful last time and I have a concern right now. I have been offered a place at the National University of Galway. For LLM in International Human Rights. I will have 10 months left to probation. Given that there was a question of violation of probation earlier (no hearing probation officer said to pull it together and move forward that was 7 months ago) NO issues now. What would you advise.
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

What a fabulous opportunity! I don't know how long you have been on probation, but it you are more than halfway through it and you're up to date with all of your requirements, you may be able to get the judge to terminate your probation early so that you can take up the offer. Otherwise, the court could suspend probation or make some other arrangement for you

Get documentation of the offer together and show it first to your PO. If he or she if willing to back you up, that's great. Then you have to go before the judge for the official ruling. If you had a lawyer originally, you might want to involve him/her as well, particularly if probation is not enthusiastic.

When I have had clients who have had some very special once in a lifetime opportunity, I have found that judges are usually generous enough to make some accommodations for them.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi, I just wanted to follow up with that the Probation Officer is not supportive I went to him and talked openly about this and he is saying that these were BIG issues and that he chose not to follow up with and that he would be sure to tell the judge. I have spoken to my lawyer and I am not disguarding her opinion or help but she has been taking weeks to get back to me and has been against this from the begining so I believe her view is tainted and I wanted an unbiassed opinion. Is there any other advise you can give me.
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

There is no other way to go than the way I told you. It's better with the permission of you probation officer, but the judge has the power to override the objections of the department of probation, and, while they don't like to do that, it can and does happen .

The judge is your only hope here. If you left without the authority of the court, they would issue a warrant for your arrest. That would make it very difficult to come back to the States.

I don't know why your lawyer is against this idea, but if she's a professional she will still mount the right kind of argument for you that would help convince the judge. That's her job.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can you tell me how to politely tell her that? She keeps saying asking the judge would cause adverse action to me because probation is going to tell the judge about the issues. I am lost and don't know what to do.
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

You just tell her that you'd like to accept this opportunity, and if she says that if you do, she will have to disclose the fact of your difficulty to the judge, you just tell her that you understand that she will do what she has to do, but that you would like to talk to the judge anyway. That you don't want to turn away an opportunity like the one you have unless it's 100% clear that you'll have to.

You are the one who has the relationship with your PO. So you probably know better than I what not to say. What you want is to be respectful and to make it clear that you understand she will have to do her job. You don't want to push any of her Probuttons.

I have told you that the judge usually will side with probation. So the probation officer is warning you of that possibility. You are certainly taking a risk. You have to ask yourself how much you want this opportunity and whether if you put it off, you can get it later when you've completed your probation.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I think as you said it is a wonderful once in a lifetime oppertunity. I KNOW that it is a 50/50 shot that the judge will say no I just think that if I don't ask I will always regret it.
Is there anyway that asking could be bad for me? She is telling me that in finding out what happened the judge could make probation longer or "throw me in jail". I know that it may seem that I am complaining I am not. I am responsible for my actions. I went to my probation officer and asked him about this he said that he would tell the court I was generally compliant and now when he spoke to my lawyer this is an issue. I just have no idea what to do! This is one of those things that is once in a lifetime (I was stunded I was excepted) and I can fund it and my mother who I don't have a great relationship with says I should go.
I have asked the probation officer and my lawyer and I don't feel they are having a dialogue with me. Should I just forget it?
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

I think if this is a once in a lifetime chance and it interests you should speak to the judge.

Probation can say that while you've been generally compliant she doesn't think you're ready for it. I don't see the judge taking this as an opportunity to give you further punishment. You are doing nothing wrong by asking him to rule on this. While I can't guarantee that the worst that will happen is that the judge will say no, because I have no idea what specifically your PO will say, turning you down would be punishment enough.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is there any value in asking probation if they would be more in favor of allowing me to travel and still check in with them ?
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Yes, i think there is value in it. It gives both probation and the judge a fall-back position, and shows that you are not simply looking to terminate probation. You're only looking to be able to accept a lifetime opportunity.

As a practical matter, there's nothing much they can do from a continent away. But it shows an intent to continue in compliance.

It has not yet occurred to me to ask the obvious. Have you checked with the Irish Embassy here to make sure that your conviction would not make you inadmissible to Ireland? There is no point in opening up this can of worms if you are only going to be turned away at the border.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Oh yes I was very forward with the program, and the embassy said there would not be an issue as I am a student and wouldn't require a visa and they were kind enough to put it in a letter for me. So do you know how I would request international travel ? Is that through probation?
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Yes, if you are on probation you may not leave the country without the permission of Probation and the court.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How do I do this? With the travel form?
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

I couldn't tell you. Every jusridiction has its own procedure, but your PO and the judge will know.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok thank you! Do you know if requesting travel is less of a process then termination?
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.
If you were going to be gone a short while it would be. But for all you know now, you won't want to come back at all. I'd ask for either or. If the court is not inclined to terminate your probation, can he suspend it while you take the classes. If the judge wants to do something good for you, he'll come up with a remedy that will work for him, even if you don't exactly suggest it.

Ther's no magic formula here.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So what do I ask my lawyer to do?
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.
Tell your lawyer what you want to tell probation and the court. He will know how to put this on the record for you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Last question is this my best option? I am not going to be "thrown in jail" as punishment for the issues 8 months ago ? Because I asked this?
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

As I have said now repeatedly, this is your only option if you want to go. I don't know why you suspect he would throw you in jail for wanting a graduate education. The odds of his saying anything worse than no to your plan are very low.

I wish you luck!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you sorry to have bugged you! You just seem like a knowledgeable great resource!
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.
Thank you! If you think about it, let me know how this works out for you!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok, I am on edge, I took your advise and wrote a letter, to my probation officer, mailed it as I have waited sense May 5, for a call back, I filled out the requests to be allowed to travel rather then early termination. My therapist has been really supportive in this and I mailed him a copy, to, the worst that can happen is the court or probations says no right? I know that I am harping I just don't understand the time it takes.
Thanks for any and all feed back.
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.
Hi Brenna,

Yes, the worst that can happen is that they will say "no." The reason you are asking is because of a legitimate special opportunity, and of course, if it ever became an issue they would be able verify that your offer's for real. It's perfectly reasonable that you would want to take the offer and perfectly reasonable that you ask if you can be permitted to attend.

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