Unfortunately, a large percent of criminal offenders also have drug problems. The legal system may also see the link between drugs and crimes to be hand and hand.
What this means is, that in the eyes of the law, if your use of drug use is down, so is the likelihood of committing other crimes in the future. One of the tools used by the legal system deter the use of drugs is random or “at will” drug testing.
Detoxing for a drug test may improve your chances of passing. But in some situation can get you into more legal trouble. Always consult your attorney before taking any actions. Remember, you and you only are responsible for your actions.
“Research your local laws and talk to a lawyer, this is just information on this site and is not meant to be used as legal advice in anyway”
Will My Probation Office Drug test Me?
Your “PO” or Probation Officer may be granted the authority to give random drug and alcohol tests “at will” or after court order. First “at will”, means the PO can issue an on the spot test for any reason they see fit. The officer can ask you to come in for a random test or issue a drug test when they see you, without additional support from the court.
If the court has not labeled you a “high” or “medium”, the office will have to first put in a request through the court for a drug screening. The request is done behind the scenes so in any case, it may seem like a random on the spot test. Many of these decisions are made before the first visit.
Interview with a Probation Officer
Will I be Tested at First Meeting?
This again depends on the offense, if you have already failed a screening and if there is reasonable suspicion. Of course, if your are on probation due to a drug related crime, chances of being tested when you first meet the PO is high.
It’s important to stop any and all drug use if you are convicted of a crime. Probation is usually the result of a plea deal. The court may see a reason for faith and trusts in a second chance. The duty of a probation officer is to make sure you are successfully sticking to those guidelines and don’t return to the system. It’s important to be upfront and honest with your PO. If you develop a trusting relationship and are honestly trying to reform, the office must help not hinder.
Can I be Honest With My Probation Officer?
As I mentioned above, it’s the POs job to keep you out of any trouble during your probation term and they are graded by this. The officer doesn’t want to see you renter the legal system at all. Once you are under the custody of the court and appointed a PO, they are responsible for your actions during and after your probation terms.
This can influence the officer’s decision in two ways:
One, they can practice a “no excuses”, the probation officer would rather have you violated and return to court or jail. One violation of probation is enough for the PO to lose trust. Once on office with this mindset has lost trust in your recovery, they would rather see you back in court or the system. This would cut off their responsibility and clean their hands of any further crimes you may commit.
Two, trust and faith that you can change. Most newer probation officers will try their best to help you reform. This can be with a stern or trusting angle. If you are honest and the officer sees you to be low risk, chances are they can practice some leniency. Its up to you and the PO to develop this type of relationship.
Should You Tell Your Parole Officer You Have Done Drugs
If you have accidentally relapsed or are sure that you might fail a urine test, be honest. Depending on your PO’s mind set, they may choose not to test you. If your officer thinks you might fail a urine drug test, they can delay the screening. A delay in drug screening or avoiding you failing may work in the officer’s favor.
If you’re sure you will fail and tell the parole officer, there is no reason for a drug test. They have your honest confession and can decide what to do with it.
If are honest, confessed drug use and are still submitted to a screening. The Officer most likely sees no as dishonest or unlikely to pass the probation term.
What to Expect During Probation
- The Probation office will decide how often you will be tested. Depending on the offense, your risk factor and compliance during probation. If you are under the suspicion of being likely to fail or relapse testing will be more frequent. If your are low risk, you may be tested monthly, bi-monthly or just a few random tests throughout the probation term.
- Most tests are standard and cheap. A PO will usually have you pee into a cup with a 5 panel test built in or a 5 panel drug testing strip is dipped in.
- The results determine if further testing is needed. If your sample fails, further testing may be required. You may be submitted to drug tests outside the usual five panel. You will be tested for the use of other drugs.
- You may be required to give a hair sample for testing. Hair follicle drug tests don’t cost as much as they once did. Courts are more and more likely to ask for a hair sample if urine cannot be provided.
- You’re under less scrutiny if you work or go to school. Keeping a good work or school attendance not only shows responsibility but decreases the time an office can schedule to see you. To the officer this is a job and just like you they want to put in the eight hours and go home. If your work or school schedule conflicts with yours, the PO will have to go out of their way to see you.
- Your actions, comments and behavior is under scrutiny. Parole officers are trained to detect suspicious behavior and know how to respond. They keep track and collect data even if you’re unaware. Think before you say or do things that may seem out of the ordinary.
Failed Probation Drug Test
If you fail your drug test, you have violated the terms of probation. What happens next is up to the officer and ultimately the courts. It is treated like any other violation of a court order. Once you are tested the results are required to be recorded. Honestly answering questions and refraining from drug tested can create a buffer between you and the court system.