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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    25

    Default Does Your Probation Officer Tell You if You're in Violation

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Michigan

    Part of my probation terms stipulate that I need to find employment. However, I'm a stay at home mom, and have been for several years. Each time I visit my PO they tell me it's not an issue when I tell them I have not found a job because I stay home with my child. Today I panicked and called my attorney because I had the 3rd PO in as many months and he just looked at me with a blank stare when I told him I stayed at home with my child and had not found a job. He said it 'wasn't a problem' but he looked confused and I don't want to mess anything up. I called my attorney and he said that YES I would be in violation if I didn't have a job because it was on my probation order. We managed to get in front of the judge within 15 minutes of that call, and he revised my conditions, allowing me to perform 20 more hours of community service in lieu of finding employment. I'm already a little upset with my attorney, I paid him good money to know me and my case. He knew all along I was a stay at home mom, so why didn't he get this revised back in the beginning? Anyway, my questions are:

    1) Does your PO tell you if your in violation of your probation, or do they wait until your probation is over and then tell you that you've violated? I just can't imagine what would have happened if I went through this entire ordeal only to come out at the other end and be in violation for something I freely admitted that I was unable to do.
    2) Is it possible to not be in violation of your probation if you do not get a job? What if you were looking but unable to find one? How does the PO indicate this, and does the judge take these things into consideration?
    3) Can the state MAKE you work as part of your probation if you do not work, or need to work? What is the purpose of making a stay at home mom get a job? I would have to get daycare and re organize my entire life for this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    OH10
    Posts
    14,735

    Default Re: Does Your Po Tell You if You're in Violation

    1. They can choose to do so how they want I expect. We have a PO here, I am sure they will comment.

    2. If you do not follow the terms of your probation, you better make darn good and sure you prove to the judges satisfaction you tried.

    3. Yes, they can. Your other choice is to serve your sentence. The purpose is to make one a productive member of society, instead of a leach sucking off the government dole. Horrible that you commit a crime and must lift a finger in punishment isn't it?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    1,246

    Default Re: Does Your Po Tell You if You're in Violation

    1. If you are to be violated, we usually tell you before the actual term date why you will be violated and the when you go to court.

    2. Yes it's possible not to be violated. But if you have a court directive, it's best to have your reason to not having it done documented by the PO and waived by the department.

    3. Sounds cold, but, I could care less aabout you being a stay at home mom or how much you have to restructure your child care and life. You agreed to find work as a stipulation with the court, not me. Therefore, you and your attorney should have straightened that out before you made it my issue. The judge and the probation department expects you to comply with the agreed upon order. Anything that should have been brought up as an issue, should have been brought up before you signed the order. The fact that you got off as long as you did without a violation shows how much the PO's were willing to work with you. I'm glad you got community service in lieu of the job thing because a supervisor could have made it really hard for you.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Does Your Po Tell You if You're in Violation

    Thanks for the input. I guess it boils down to my attorney not really paying attention to my case at the beginning. So in light of your answers, it's possible that my PO's have documented every month that I am a stay at home mom (a full time caregiver) and have been indicating that I'm not in violation correct? So it's possible that I could have said nothing and my PO's would not have found me in violation, correct? It's better to be safe than sorry in this case I suppose, but I guess I was just upset that this whole thing was not explained fully to me. I feel like my attorney has ignored me and my case since the beginning and doesn't really care, but it's too late now.

    Thanks.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    1,246

    Default Re: Does Your Po Tell You if You're in Violation

    Quote Quoting Meowmix
    View Post
    Thanks for the input. I guess it boils down to my attorney not really paying attention to my case at the beginning. So in light of your answers, it's possible that my PO's have documented every month that I am a stay at home mom (a full time caregiver) and have been indicating that I'm not in violation correct? So it's possible that I could have said nothing and my PO's would not have found me in violation, correct? It's better to be safe than sorry in this case I suppose, but I guess I was just upset that this whole thing was not explained fully to me. I feel like my attorney has ignored me and my case since the beginning and doesn't really care, but it's too late now.

    Thanks.
    No ma'am. I'm sayinbg that the fact that the PO's never said anything to you about a violatiobn did not mean that it wouldn't have happened. After each visit, I have to document progress on all court conditions. When it comes to the employment condition, after each visit, I'll put your non employment. I'll also state why you haven't sought work, how much money you owe and anything that covers my ass as to why you are into compliance.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Does Your Po Tell You if You're in Violation

    Ok. But if you don't mind sharing information, if you were my PO what would you think about the situation? I have paid my fines in full, my community service (up till the revision) has been completed and my service fees have always been paid at each visit, which I have not missed. I haven't violated any of the other directives. Was I right to be concerned about the employment? If my PO has been indicating that I am a full time caregiver to a small child (which I assume every month they did because I was never told at any appointment I was in violation), does that fall under employment? What happens if I have been actively seeking a job but failed to obtain one? I am just trying to determine if indeed I over-reacted to the situation or not. If a PO does NOT find you in violation, will a judge be looking at that info before you're discharged, or do they only see the PO's reports?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    1,246

    Default Re: Does Your Po Tell You if You're in Violation

    I would have violated you a long time ago honestly. Unless, you provided proof of applying for jobs and made an honest effort to find employment, I would have violated. Until you received a modification stating that the employment mandate was a nonissue, you were in violation. If I forced your hand by sending you back to court in order to get it, so be it. But, unless I have a demonstration of your complete cooperation in ttrying to meet the order's requirements, I'd have to violate. Based on the other conditions that you did have under control, I doubt that the violation would have gone very far.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Does Your Probation Officer Tell You if You're in Violation

    Well I thank you for your answers. So what is your opinion of my PO officers? Were they not finding me in violation, or were they finding me in violation and not telling me? As I stated, at every visit I stated what the employment situation was and was in compliance with everything else so they always said "See you next month". I'm not trying to harass you, I'm just trying to figure out if they have a responsibility to tell me I'm in violation when I didn't believe for a long time that I was. Or, if what I believe happened, they noted that I was a full time caregiver and were giving me a pass on the employment issue, especially since I had paid everything and completed everything else and was not in any other trouble.
    I'm sorry if I'm asking questions as if I don't understand, because frankly, I don't understand. I don't understand how any of this got as far as it did, and I feel my attorney has not given me the full benefit of his attentions to my case, therefore, I'm scared something bad is going to happen in the end.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    1,246

    Default Re: Does Your Probation Officer Tell You if You're in Violation

    Tricky question. It seems that it was not a big deal for them. It also seems that the court probably would not have made a big issue about it either. But if the PO's supervisor reviews the case and sees that you have not been working and you were never violated for it, then they might've been given a directive to do it.

    Trust me, you did yourself a big favor by getting the order modified. This way, you know for a fact that you are in compliance with the court's order.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Does Your Probation Officer Tell You if You're in Violation

    Thank you. I agree that I probably did do myself a bigger favor in the long run (better to be safe than sorry), but I still keep thinking that either a) somehow someone wasn't being completely honest with me and then where would I be in a couple weeks when this is all over or b) it was never an issue to them but somehow I would've been found in violation anyway when this is all over.

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