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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27705
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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Can any probation officer go to a person not on s caseload

Customer Question

Can any probation officer go to a person not on his caseload and do a warrantless search.Are they aloud to lie to
to get a probation officer to allow. them to search
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.


Probation officers are not police officers. In general, they cannot conduct a warrantless search of someone not on probation. They can, however, search the home of any probationer and search the residence where a probationer lives, including the rooms of the other persons that probationer lives with, whether those others are on probation or not. People who house probationers are told their premises are subject to such searches.

As for whether or not they can lie, can you explain the circumstances by replying to this question thread?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My nephew had a parole warrant.I was on probation.but on good terms.I walked outside to get a letter from the fed x truck
I seen a car down the street but thought nothing of it.i went inside to use the restroom .while I was in the restroom police first knocked then proceeded to break down the door.The already had the keys to the house .they took them from my daughter.After being being detained they introduce me to someone from probation.and be asked to search my room.i said no.he asked who my probation officer was.i told him.he called my p.o. And said I wouldn't open the door for them and can they search.they found something in my room and took me to jail.i did open the door .they broke through I but the chain held it together.i took off the chain
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.


So long as it is the probation officer that conducts the search of your room, this search would likely withstand Constitutional scrutiny. However, you do have issues here, as your PO was not the one to authorize this search.

If you choose not to plead guilty and want to fight the case, you'd be accorded a pre-trial suppression hearing to explore and challenge the search.

The US Supreme Court has ruled that Constitutional violations are never black ane white. Each possibility must be looked at on a case by case basis at suppression hearings, which are designed to challenge the police. After all the evidence is in, the judge rules according to a standard set by the Supreme Court, which is what a reasonable police officer would do under the facts and circumstances.

If it's found at the close of all of the evidence, that the police overstepped their authority by stage managing an unauthorized probation search, the evidence seized would be suppressed and if your only charge was possession of that contraband, the case could be dismissed.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It doesn't matter if it is my probation officer or just a random guy from probation.
It just seems unethical for probation officers to go harass a probationer that is not on his caseload.and why would they ask to search
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.

What seems improper here is that this was an entirely police arranged warrantless search designed specifically to sidestep a warrant requirement. Your probation officer was not even advised until the police already entered the premises. Also, are you even certain that this person was a probation officer?

Regardless of your answer, however, no matter how unethical this looks, the US Supreme Court has said there is nothing that is always unconstitutional. Search and seizure issues always depend on the particular facts and circumstances and what is reasonable for the police to do under those facts and circumstances.

So you can challenge this. You may even win it depending upon the police testimony. But you'd still have to do so at a pre-trial suppression hearing as I indicated above.