Yes, probation officers can come to your house on weekends.
A better question is will the officer come on the weekend?
In the article that follows, we’ll explain.
Do Probation Officers Come To Your House On Weekends? (Explained)
The contents of this web page are for informational purposes only, and nothing you read is intended to be legal advice. Please review our disclaimer about law/legal-related information on this website before taking action based upon anything you read or see.
Authority of a Probation Officer
The authority of a probation officer in a particular case is set by the terms of the order of probation, and the laws of the jurisdiction (usually state laws).
The terms of probation generally require that the defendant do any number of things, including but not limited to:
- complete any assessments and treatment requested by the probation officer
- violate no laws
- to maintain employment or enrollment at school
- submit to requested substance abuse testing
- consent to a search of the defendant’s person, vehicle, or residence
The order of probation may or may not include any specific terms about searches by the probation officer.
Even in the absence of the specific orders, most statutes have enacted statutes that give the probation specific authority during probation (which are referenced in the probation order) generally.
In those laws, you’ll probably find the probation officer’s authority to perform a search.
In most states, there’s a provision that further explains the probation officer’s authority when it comes to visiting the defendant’s residence, or searching the defendant’s residence, which are actually two different things altogether.
There are generally no provisions that limit the visit window or search window to weekdays or to business hours.
In fact, many probation officers say that searches may occur “any day, during any time of day or night.”
Evening or Weekend Visits
Police officers are the ones who are on duty on weekends and in the middle of the night.
Probation officers generally work a more standard schedule, during the week, and during the day.
That being said, probation officers are wise to life, and understand that most people are likely to let lose and make mistakes in the evenings and on weekends.
They also understand that people work or go to school during the day, and that home visits in the middle of the day can disrupt the exact things the probation officer wants his clients to accomplish.
Since there are generally no restrictions to when the probation officer can visit or request a search (so long as the probation officer follows the laws of the jurisdiction), a probation officer might decide that a special evening or weekend visit is appropriate for a particular probationer if he thinks such a visit is worth staying late or coming in on a weekend.
The evening/weekend visit by the probation officer doesn’t always have to be a search.
Most states allow the probation officer to do a walkthrough of the probationer’s house or place of employment (which doesn’t necessarily have to be a search).
Outside of the walk-through or search, there’s nothing preventing the probation officer from coming to the door and knocking just to talk to the defendant (without even coming inside).
Will The Probation Officer Come By On A Weekend?
There’s no guarantee that a probation officer will only come to a probationer’s house during a specific time frame, or at all.
One thing is certain though–the probationer’s behavior can encourage such a visit.
For example, if the individual fails to meet up with the probation officer during office hours during the week, or is otherwise struggling to keep up with things during the day, the probation officer might feel like it is necessary (and best for the probationer) to initiate contact at a time when the probationer is at home (weekend). .
Missed meetings during the week don’t necessarily have to be a bad thing, as the probationer might be not be able to leave work to get to meetings at the times requested by the probation officer.
However, if the probationer is missing meetings, refuses to return calls or messages, has missed UA appointments, and is otherwise out of compliance with his probation, the officer is eventually going to come and investigate in person.
What If The Visits Are Harassing or Otherwise Problematic?
Let’s say the probationer is 100% in compliance, and yet the probation officer comes by the residence frequently, or at hours of the night that seem unreasonable (waking up adults who need to work in the morning or scaring the children).
The places lawyers hired to assist will first look are at the terms of the probation, and the associated statutes.
Is there anything in either location that talks about “reasonable” or “unreasonable” home visits or searches?
If the searches are limited to only “reasonable” hours or grounds, then talking with an attorney about how to enforce that could be useful.
If the searches do not appear to be limited in any way (aside from constitutional grounds), then it might be worthwhile to talk to an attorney about modifying the terms of probation to help support the defendant’s progress on probation.
Finally, just because a defendant has been placed on probation, doesn’t mean that he no longer has any constitutional rights in the United States and the state he lives in.
Talking with a lawyer about the situation could help the defendant see whether he truly has grounds to take the probation officer to task, or whether he will just need to grin and bear it for the remainder of the term.
Want to learn more about your criminal justice system?
Browse our free legal library guides for more information.
You might also like:
- Can a Probation Officer Find Out If You Left the State?
- Can a Probation Officer Change Your Conditions?
- Can a Probation Officer Call Your Employer?
- Can a Probation Officer Search a Safe?
- Can a Probation Officer Search Your Roommate’s Room?
- Do Probation Officers Verify Prescriptions?
- Can Probation Officers Access Your Medical Records?
- Can a Probation Officer Serve Papers?
- Can a Doctor Excuse You From Jail?
- Can a Probation Officer Read Your Text Messages?