Q: What does doc probation for felony dui entail? House raids and daily check-ins?
A: Every jurisdiction is different. Even within the same state, different probation departments VARY greatly, in their enforcement efforts and procedures. Felony probation can have a dozen or more conditions, including a 4th Amendment waiver, wherein you give up your normal right to NOT be confronted by police, without probable cause to believe a crime has been committed. So, if stopped by police, they can search your car, or clothing. Same for your house. The materials below are from one of my books, on drunk driving, but parallel the things that happen on probation.
In the past decade, the concept of utilizing special programs or alternative resolutions for repeat offenders has been implemented in numerous states. These courts or alternative programs usually offer a departure from standard jail sentences for people who have demonstrated a problem with alcohol. Although some jail time is commonly involved, a substantial portion of the usual incarceration term is exchanged for some form of alcohol (or drug) treatment and intensive probation. Intensive probation typically involves a high degree of oversight by the probation officers, including weekly or random drug and alcohol screening.
Many of these special programs have a “work-release” component wherein the repeat offender who is gainfully employed is allowed to go to and from work, assuming transportation can be arranged to assure that the person gets to and from work legally. In some jurisdictions, these programs will be a discretionary option (with the sentencing judge) for accused citizens who lose at trial, while other jurisdictions only offer accused citizens the chance to take such an option INSTEAD of work.
Some people are not well-suited for intensive probation and strict reporting requirements. Such people are usually quick to violate the restrictive conditions and are subsequently jailed for non-compliance. This jail term can sometimes be for the remainder of the probation period. For these people, a shorter jail term and normal non-reporting probation may be preferable to taking the “special court” option.
The experience of a highly qualified DUI-DWI specialist can be extremely valuable in these situations. His or her knowledge of the sentencing patterns of your assigned judge can be crucial in deciding whether to try to win at trial or strongly consider accepting some “alternative resolution” plea offer.
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