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Can my probation officer come to my house and let the drug…

Customer Question
Can my probation officer...

Can my probation officer come to my house and let the drug agents do a warrantless search because a agent said he got a tip on me

Lawyer's Assistant: What was the conviction for exactly? Have all appeals been exhausted?

Simple possession

Lawyer's Assistant: In what state did this occur?

Georgia

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Yes they conducted a search and retrieve a weapon but I haven't been arrested yet said he'd get warrant

Submitted: 2 months ago.Category: Criminal Law
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Answered in 8 minutes by:
5/26/2018
Criminal Lawyer: RobertJDFL, Lawyer replied 2 months ago
RobertJDFL
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Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 15,318
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Thank you for using Just Answer. I am a licensed attorney and look forward to helping you. I am reviewing your question and will reply back shortly.

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Criminal Lawyer: RobertJDFL, Lawyer replied 2 months ago

Good afternoon,

Unfortunately, yes they may. The 4th Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure doesn't apply to a person on probation, so probation may conduct searches when they believe they have grounds to do so. On May 19, 2016, the Court of Appeals of Georgia decided Whitfield v. State , which serves as instructive concerning the law related to law enforcement officers conducting warrantless searches of probationer’s residences.

The court of appeals first noted:

[A]lthough searches must usually be accompanied by a warrant and supported by probable cause to be reasonable, "exceptions have been permitted when 'special needs,' beyond the normal need for law enforcement, make the warrant and probable-cause requirement impracticable." Indeed, the supervision of probationers that is necessary to operate a probation system presents "special needs that may justify departures from the usual warrant and probable-cause requirements. [iii].

The court then observed that, after a drug conviction, Whitfield consented, as a term of probation to avoid incarceration, to a waiver of his Fourth Amendment rights. The court, regarding the waiver, stated:

y accepting this special condition of probation, "and to the extent a search and seizure was not otherwise tainted without subsequent attenuation so as to compel invocation of the exclusionary rule, [Whitfield] waived his Fourth Amendment right." Reece v. State, 257 Ga. App. 137, 140 (2) (b) (570 SE2d 424) (2002) (punctuation omitted); accord State v. Sapp, 214 Ga. App. 428, 431-32 (3) (448 SE2d 3) (1994). But even under such a waiver, there must still be "some conduct reasonably suggestive of criminal activity to 'trigger' the search." Reece, 257 Ga. App. at 140 (2) (b) (punctuation omitted); accord Prince v. State, 299 Ga. App. 164, 169 (3) (b) (682 SE2d 180) (2009). This trigger can be prompted by "a good-faith suspicion, arising from routine police investigative work." Reece, 257 Ga. App. at 140 (2) (b) (punctuation omitted); accord Prince, 299 Ga. App. at 169 (3) (b).

In sum, the general rule is that the police can search a probationer, who is subject to such a special condition of probation, at any time, day or night, and with or without a warrant, provided there exists a reasonable or good-faith suspicion for [the] search, that is, the police must not merely be acting in bad faith or in an arbitrary and capricious manner (such as searching to harass probationer).Reece, 257 Ga. App. at 140 (2) (b) (punctuation omitted); accord Brown v. State, 307 Ga. App. 99, 106 (4) (704 SE2d 227) (2010); Prince, 299 Ga. App. at 169 (3) (b). [iv] [emphasis added]

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Criminal Lawyer: RobertJDFL, Lawyer replied 2 months ago

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