Can a Probation Officer Keep You Away from Your Spouse?
In some cases, yes. Depending on the terms of your probation, you will have some restrictions about who you can see. Courts have a lot of discretion over what you can and cannot do on probation. And your probation officer is responsible for making sure that you follow the rules. But in most cases, a probation officer will probably not keep you away from your spouse. It’s important to understand all of your rights on probation.
When can a probation officer keep you from seeing your spouse?
There are some cases in which a probation officer can keep you from seeing your spouse.
- They are a co-conspirator. If your spouse helped you commit the crime that got you on probation, you might not be able to see them. Most terms of probation require you to avoid criminal contact. Your spouse would be, by definition, a criminal. If this is the case, your probation officer may forbid you from seeing them.
- They are your victim. It is not uncommon for spouses to be the victims of crimes. If this is true in your case, your probation officer will almost certainly keep you away from your spouse.
- They are a criminal. You must avoid criminal activity when you are on probation. If your spouse is involved in criminal activity, your probation officer will consider this a risk and may not let you see them.
- They have addiction problems. In most probation agreements, you will agree to avoid drugs and perhaps even alcohol. If your spouse has substance abuse issues, this could be seen as a risk for you. Your probation officer may decide to keep you away from them in that case.
There are other reasons your probation officer could deny you the opportunity to see your spouse. They have wide discretion over your life. However, these are some of the most common reasons.
What can you do if you don’t agree with your probation officer about seeing your spouse?
You have the right to challenge any of your probation terms. If you think the terms of your probation, including a rule about seeing your spouse, are unfair, you can ask a court to change them. It’s a fairly simple process.
- Speak to your lawyer. You must have a need to see your spouse that you can prove in court to change your terms. An attorney will know if your case fits that definition. Talk to them to see if you should move forward with a petition.
- File a petition. Once you’ve decided that you have a reasonable need, you can file a petition to change your terms. You can do this yourself or have your attorney do this. If you can afford their service, an attorney can make sure that this is done correctly.
- Get copies to the right people. You or your attorney will also need to get copies of this motion to the others involved in your case. This usually means your probation officer and the prosecutor for your case.
- Go to your hearing. If the court grants a hearing, you or your lawyer will need to appear. At this hearing, you can testify in court, present evidence and call witnesses.
- Accept the decision. The court may side with you and grant you permission to see your spouse. But if they don’t, you need to obey these terms. Breaking them could result in serious consequences.
Your probation officer can keep you from your spouse. However, in most cases, it isn’t likely. There are some situations, such as if your spouse is a known criminal, that they would be likely to do so. If they do and you do not agree, you can petition that term of probation in court.