Do You Get Drug Tested While on Probation?
When setting the terms of a defendant’s probation, the judge has the right to order random or regularly scheduled drug testing. Even if the judge does not order drug testing, the probation officer has the right to request a drug test at any time.
Right now, hundreds of thousands of people are serving probation sentences. You can get probation for a wide range of offenses, including misdemeanors and felonies, and ranging from drug offenses to violent crimes, sex offenses, property crimes, and financial crimes. Probation is an option as a sentence for all but the most serious crimes, such as murder, rape, or drug trafficking.
Judges have a lot of flexibility to set the terms of a defendant’s probation sentence; it goes without saying that, while on probation, you must obey all state and federal laws, but the judge can also decide where you can live and can penalize you for doing things that are otherwise legal, like quitting your job or contacting a certain friend.
For example, the judge can order you to live at your parents’ house for the duration of your probation and to move out of the apartment you shared with roommates, where the police found drugs in your possession.
While you are on probation, you are always one minor mistake away from going to jail or prison, which is why representation by the Fort Worth criminal defense lawyers at the Law Office of Kyle Whitaker can help ensure that you can complete your probation sentence without further incident.
Drug Testing, Probation, and Texas Law
Probation is a possible sentence for many criminal offenses in Texas. In some cases, you can get a probation sentence instead of a prison sentence as part of a plea deal. Pretrial diversion programs also include probation. In these programs, if you complete your probation term (usually one year) successfully, you do not get a conviction, and the record of your arrest gets sealed.
Some probation sentences, especially those related to drug crimes, require random drug testing or drug testing at regular intervals, such as every Tuesday. Even if the judge did not include drug testing as one of the terms of your probation, your probation officer can order a drug test for you at any time.
Probation is Not a Get Out of Jail Free Card
Being on probation is not a walk in the park. It is better than going to jail because you still get to live at home and work at your job, but you must follow strict rules, essentially being on your best behavior at all times. It is not just your imagination if you think that the judge or probation officer is micromanaging you just because they can.
Probation officers ordering drug tests even when the sentencing judge did not require it is just one example of this. In some Texas counties, people on probation are not even allowed to drink alcohol even if they are above the age of 21 and are on probation for something totally unrelated to alcohol (such as theft or knowingly writing a bad check). If you are on probation, a criminal defense lawyer can help protect you from unfair treatment by probation officers and judges.
Contact the Law Office of Kyle Whitaker About Life Before, During, and After Probation
A criminal defense lawyer can help you if your probation officer or judge has unfairly asked you to submit to random drug testing. Contact the Law Office of Kyle Whitaker in Fort Worth, Texas to discuss your case.