Posted 3/20/2014 by Mark Miclette
You have been on probation for a while and never had the probation officer show up at your house requesting entry, but it will likely happen soon. Even if you have done nothing wrong, this can be nerve-wracking. There are several reasons for a home visit and various things happens during one.
Reasons for the visit:
In some counties, routine home visits are required. The probation officer will come in, have a short look around, ask you a few questions and then leave. Sometimes, you may be asked to submit to an in-home, drug screen
that the probation officer will bring along.
New to probation:
Many probation officers make an initial home visit when a new offender is placed on their caseload. It gives the P.O. a chance to verify you are living where you said you are, see what your living conditions are and find out who is living with you.
You are under investigation:
Sometimes, a probation officer will conduct a home visit as a way to get the cops inside your house. The probation officer arrives with a police escort and tells you it is a home visit. He comes in and searches the house for evidence wanted by police, while the police officer questions you about whatever crime you are implicated in. When you were placed on probation, you agreed to searches that do not require a warrant.
What happens during the visit?
In most cases, your probation officer takes a quick look around your home, checking for drugs or paraphernalia. You will be asked how things are going, whether you have had recent contact with law enforcement and if any changes have occurred in your life since your last report date. You could be asked to take a drug test, which the probation officer will have brought along.
As long as the probation officer does not find anything illegal and you pass the drug test, your home visit should be fine. If the police are there and question you, you do have the right to request an attorney before speaking to them.
Probation Officer Blog Post: Home Visits
Parole and Probation Searches – Police Magazine