When an individual is placed on probation in Michigan, there is a determination made by the probation department and/or the sentencing Court as to type of supervision that a probationer receives. A failure to comply with supervision, and the terms of probation, subjects the probationer to a violation of probation. For any criminal law issues, it is recommended that you retain attorney Daniel Hilf of the law firm of Hilf & Hilf, PLC.
Non reporting probation – sometimes a Court will allow a probationer to remain totally unsupervised during the period of probation. However, before the probationer is released from probation a probation officer verifies that the conditions of probation were met (for example, fines were paid, community service was done, etc.), and also does a LEIN check to see if any new criminal activity occurred.
Mail in probation – usually occurs for misdemeanor convictions where the probationer resides in a location far from the Court which imposed the sentence. If allowed, the probationer must keep in regular (usually monthly) contact with his or her probation officer through U.S. mail. The probation agent tries to verify the compliance of the probationer with any ordered conditions.
Regular supervision – generally involves face to face contact between the probationer and his or her assigned probation agent once a month. At this meeting, the progress of the probationer is discussed. The probationer has the opportunity to provide any proof of compliance with the terms of probation that he or she has (for example, AA sheets, PBT logs, community service hours, etc.). Copies of any proofs are maintained in the case records.
Intermediate supervision – usually the result of an amendment to the probationary order due to a violation of probation. It subjects the probationer to a slightly increased level of supervision that does not rise to the level of intensive probation. It may result in increases in drug testing, alcohol testing, etc. for a period of time.
Intensive supervision – this is for probationers that are deemed to be at high risk of committing new offenses. This form of probation requires multiple weekly contacts with the probation agent in order to monitor and provide support to the probationer. The regular contacts may include the probationer’s employer, family, school, community service location, etc.
Electronic Monitoring/Tether – this form of probationary supervision restricts the probationers freedom during the day, or to go to certain locations. The probationer is generally allowed to work, attend school, go to treatment, go to AA meetings, unless the probationer is placed on lock down due to violations. Usually the sentencing Judge determines the conditions placed on the tether. The tether can be in several forms:
1. Transmitter – verifies the probationers location through a radio frequency and/or telephone lines. The probationer is usually limited to more than a 150 foot radius from home, unless authorized to leave.
2. GPS – reports the probationers every movement via a real time map. Hot zones can be created to alert when the probationer goes into locations in which he or she is not allowed (for example, the victim’s neighborhood). This is more expensive than being monitored by a Transmitter.
3. Visual Telephone – the probationer must send an image of themselves through a computer program to verify their presence in the home when directed. The Visual Telephone can also incorporate a breathelyzer for the probationer to blow into to provide a blood alcohol level at the random time that probation directs the probationer to comply.
4. SCRAM – a device that can monitor the probationers blood alcohol level through their skin. The device is supposed to be tamper resistent and water proof, and allows the probationer to attend to his or her daily activities.