When people hear about probation it sounds like a great alternative to jail or prison. But probation conditions are tough! Just the costs alone are enough to bankrupt most people.
Some of the conditions of probation are:
- Fines and court costs, usually broken up into monthly payments (felony and misdemeanor costs are different but it starts at around $100 per month)
- A monthly fee for the cost of supervising you on probation ($60)
- Meeting with a probation officer once per month
- Keeping your address current with your probation officer, that means if you move anywhere at any time, you have to tell your probation officer
- Full time employment (a difficult task if you’re a convicted felon)
- Remaining in county, that means, unless you have the permission of your probation officer, you can’t leave the county of your residence
- Allowing the probation officer or police to come into your house at any time for any reason (they don’t need probable cause)
- Surrender of all your weapons
- Curfew (not always – but always on felony drug offender probation)
- Anger management classes
- Drug treatment classes
- Random urine tests
- There can be others too, which are agreed to by you, when you sign up for probation
How often are the “random drug tests”?
Sometimes, never – sometimes every other week, sometimes once per month. It depends on the probation officer, whether or not you are on drug offender probation, and/or how you interact with your probation officer. If the PO doesn’t like you for some reason, your chances of random drug tests is greater.
So how are the tests done? In most counties, the probation officer asks for a urine sample while you’re in the probation office. The PO tests the urine and if it’s positive, will send it to a lab for further confirmation.
What happens if it’s positive? The Probation Officer issues a probation violation report, the judge signs it and issues a warrant for your arrest. Usually takes 1-3 weeks. Once you are arrested you will have no bond while you are awaiting a court date. (This is why it’s important to have a lawyer before you are arrested – otherwise you can be sitting in jail for weeks – a lawyer can get you a court date sooner)
How do you fight a violation of probation for a positive urine test? It’s actually easier than it looks. Because according to the First, Fifth, and Second District Courts of Appeal, the probation officer’s testimony in court is hearsay. In order to prove the drug test was positive – the State needs an expert witness from a laboratory that did the testing.
So, another reason it’s good to have a good defense lawyer when you’ve violated your probation – and more specifically, an experienced probation violation attorney from Pawuk and Pawuk – call us today with any questions.