In a case out of Sacramento, a man was placed on felony probation for a DUI. One of the terms and conditions of his probation was that he “not drink any alcoholic beverages, possess any alcoholic beverages, or be in any place where it is the chief item of sale”. The issue was- that this term and condition did not have a qualification that to violate his probation, he must commit the proscribed conduct “knowingly”. The court raised the point that unlike the term and condition that one must not “knowingly own, use, or possess any deadly or dangerous weapons” the term regarding the alcohol had no “knowingly” qualification.
This becomes important for the probationer in this case. For instance, if goes with friends to go bowling- and the bowling alley serves alcoholic beverages but the probationer did not know that- his probation officer could not arrest him for violating his probation.
This ruling by the court prevents the probation department from violating a probationer for doing something that they DID not know was in violation of his or her probation. In a felony case- where being put on probation is the alternative to going to prison- a violation could easily put the probationer in prison. This would be extremely unjust if the probationer did not know that his or her conduct was in violation.
If you or a loved one have been charged with a Probation Violation contact the experienced Southern California criminal defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich. We’ve have been helping criminal defendants for over 30 years. Call us at (888) 280-6839 or visit us at www.wklaw.com.