If you get put on probation for a criminal case, sometimes the probation department will be able to search your home as part of them monitoring you. Usually you're going to see this in a felony case. I've rarely seen it in a misdemeanor case unless you're in Ventura County or one of these counties that has a probation department even monitoring people on misdemeanor cases.
Confirming You Are Abiding By The Terms of Probation
The way that it works is, the probation department can come to your home. They'll typically bring the police with them. They'll come in and search your home, making sure that you're abiding by the terms and conditions of your probation, number one. And number two, they're going to make sure that you're not doing anything illegal in your home.
If you have your own home and you allow a probationer to be in your home, you really end up giving a lot of your rights away, because what I've seen happen a lot of times is people let someone in their home.
They know they're on probation, and what they end up doing is, the police come in and the police go to search and they find some criminal activity not relating to the probationer, but they find some criminal activity related to someone else who is nice enough to let the person in their home.
The next thing you know that good Samaritan has been arrested and charged with a crime, and then they're asking, wait a minute, why am I getting charged with a crime? I'm not on probation. Why should they be able to search my home?
Well, because they can. If you're going to let someone who's on probation stay in your home, you run the risk that some of your stuff might get searched and you might end up getting arrested. What if the probationer hides a gun in your room and it's an assault rifle? Now, you're in a position where they're going to charge you potentially with the possession of that assault rifle, in my example.
Search of Your Car and Person
So, probation can come. They can search. It really is a shame because when you get yourself put on probation and if there's terms in there that they're allowed to come search your home, that really causes you to give up a lot of your rights and puts you in a difficult position as far as your Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures. A lot of times they can even search your car. They can search your person.
So, you don't want to be on probation if you could avoid it and if you are on probation, them being allowed to search your home really puts you in a bad position. It puts you in a position where, not only do you give up your rights, but you put yourself in a scenario where potentially the probation department can put charges on you where you really don't deserve to have criminal charges against you.
So, if the probation department in Los Angeles county has searched your home, has searched your car, has searched your person and has found some sort of criminal activity and you're charged, you need to get to a criminal defense attorney immediately. Make no statements.
Don't do anything else to get yourself in trouble and let that attorney start to figure out what can be done to help you. Maybe there still is a search and seizure issue even if you were on probation when they searched your home. Maybe they exceeded the scope of where they were allowed to search, and maybe just because they found something in a home they can't pin it on you because it's somebody else's property.
But these people who are on felony probation and live in a home where there's a gun are just asking to be arrested and charged with a new felony and go to state prison. Because even though the gun may not be yours, if the gun's in the home, there's an argument that you have constructed possession of the gun, and therefore, not only have you violated probation, but you've violated a law because anybody who has a felony conviction can never own, use or possess a gun in California.
Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer
There's countless examples of these probation searches yielding huge things for the police and prosecutors when they really shouldn't be able to do it, but because you put yourself in that position, you end up in a bad situation.
So, if you do end up getting put on probation and you're concerned about getting in trouble, obviously you want to talk to your defense attorney about that. Get a plan together so you don't even put yourself in the position to be re-arrested, charged, violated your probation and end up getting your freedom taken away.
Hedding Law Firm
16000 Ventura Blvd #1208
Encino, CA 91436