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What Rights Do You Have as a Probationer?


As a probationer, you have constitutional rights. However, your rights may be subject to certain limitations or conditions compared to people who are not on probation. If you were recently sentenced to probation, you may be wondering what rights you have as a probationer. In this article, we discuss some of the rights you have as a probationer. Read on!

What Is Probation?

Before going into what rights you have as a probationer, it is important that we first discuss the meaning of probation. When a person is convicted of a crime, jail is not the only option. Probation is another type of criminal sentence that the court can impose. With probation, a convicted individual is released back into the community under certain conditions set by the court. Every case is unique, meaning the terms of one probation differ from those of another. However, the standard terms of probation often include, among others, the following;

  • Regular check-ins with the probation officer
  • Random alcohol and drug testing
  • Paying fines or restitution
  • Community service
  • Not contacting victims or associating with criminals
  • Not committing new offenses
  • Maintaining steady employment
  • Travel restrictions
  • Staying away from certain places
  • Taking part in alcohol or drug counseling or treatment programs

Probationers are supervised by probation officers and must adhere to the terms and conditions of their probation. Otherwise, they risk facing several consequences, including probation revocation and being sent to jail. On the other hand, successfully completing a probation term can have several positive outcomes. For instance, depending on the nature of the offense and the jurisdiction, successful completion of probation might allow an individual to have their conviction removed from their criminal record.

What Rights Do You Have as a Probationer?

Probationers have several rights that might vary depending on the specifics of the case and the jurisdiction. Nevertheless, there are some rights that most probationers have. The following are some of these rights;

Right To Due Process

The first right most probationers continue to have throughout the probation period is the right to due process. Before probation is revoked or modified, a probationer has the right to a fair and impartial hearing. A probationer must be informed of alleged violations. They must be allowed to share their side of the story. The decision regarding probation modification or revocation should be made by an impartial decision maker, and the probationer has the right to be informed of the reasons behind the decision to revoke or modify probation.

Right to an Attorney

You have the right to legal counsel. However, you may not have the right to a court-appointed attorney. You may need to hire an attorney yourself.

Right To Be Free From Unreasonable Searches and Seizures

Under certain circumstances, probationers may be subject to searches and seizures. However, you maintain the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. What constitutes a reasonable search and seizure might depend on several factors, including the probation terms and the nature of the crime.

Right to Access Medical Care

Like other people, you have the right to receive medical attention if sick or injured.

Right To Be Treated With Respect

Probationers have the right to be treated reasonably, fairly, and with dignity.

Contact an NYC Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are on probation and have questions regarding your rights as a probationer, contact our qualified NYC criminal attorney at Mark I. Cohen, Esq.

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