You are on probation. Probation is a game you can win but to win you have to know the rules. Probation Rule 2, report all arrests, whatever their outcome, immediately to your probation officer.
Probation Rule 2, report arrests. Over the years of helping people with probation violations I have had many folks try to figure out what it means to be arrested. Were you free to leave? If you are not free to leave you are arrested? When I was a probation officer I would tell my folks that anytime they spoke with a police officer about anything beyond whether or not the fish were biting they should report it to the probation officer. In the practice of law the question can become different. If you tell your probation officer what will happen? If you don’t tell your probation officer what will happen? Is a citation an arrest?
Probation Rule 2, report arrests. If I tell my probation officer what will happen? If you tell your probation officer he may violate you because you were arrested. This sounds crazy! You try to follow the rules and you get in trouble. That may be but at least you will not be violated for failing to tell your probation officer. When your probation officer has to write a probation violation warrant the judge may ask if you told the officer about the arrest. Several times I was able to convince a judge to hold off on a warrant until after the end of the arrest in general sessions.
Probation Rule 2, report arrests. What if I don’t tell the officer? The real question here becomes will he or she find out about the new arrest? What will they do when they find out you were arrested and didn’t tell them? Generally if you were in trouble before the arrest you are REALLY in trouble now. When you were a little boy or girl did you ever break something? I know I did. When you did you choices are a. tell Mom or b. sweep the broken pieces under the couch and hope nobody finds out. When I tried to hide the evidence it seemed that I ALWAYS got caught and my parents were more mad than ever. Now think about your probation officer. They may be mad that you got arrested but when they find out from reading a police report they may be really mad. Probation Rule 2 says tell your probation officer.
Probation Rule 2, report arrests? Is a citation an arrest? Tennessee law allows a police officer to issue a citation instead of making an arrest. An officer might write a citation for driving on suspended license, simple possession of drugs or shoplifting. So you say “I was not arrested I was given a ticket.” Probation Rule 2 would say if you were given a citation that is the same as being arrested. When you are given a citation you have to come to court, you have to be booked, get your mug shot taken and be fingerprinted. Sounds like an arrest right? While the officer is writing up the citation you cannot leave. You are under arrest right? Yes! You may not have to go to jail just now but you are still under arrest. Probation Rule 2 says report all arrests to your probation officer.
Are you on probation? You can survive and succeed on probation. If you have a problem with your probation call me. I may be able to help.