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Probation and parole programs often allow warantless searches

The Fourth Amendment gives people the right to not have to undergo frivolous searches and seizures. In most cases, police officers would need a warrant in order to search someone's home. There are some exceptions to that requirement. One of these exceptions occurs when a person is on probation or parole.

When you sign a probation agreement, you are agreeing to comply with the terms of the program. In most cases, one of the terms is that you will make your home and person available for searches when police officers request. There are some probation programs that set limits to this fact. In some areas, only specific agencies can conduct the searches and only specific items can be searched for.

Critics of this ability have called it into question often, but the U.S. Supreme Court has clarified the matter. It ruled that if police have reasonable suspicion, a search is lawful if there is a probation agreement signed. It is crucial that the people conducting the search comply with the terms of the search agreement, which can vary greatly.

For people on parole, there is a general notion that they have a diminished right to privacy. In this case, police officers usually need only reasonable suspicion in order to conduct a search. It would be up to the court to decide if a warrantless search was appropriate if that matter is called into question.

It is always advisable to ensure you fully understand the terms of your probation or parole. This can help you to ensure that you don't have to fight a probation or parole violation down the road.

Source: FindLaw, "Can My Home Be Searched If I'm on Parole or Probation?," Christopher Coble, Esq., accessed May 06, 2016

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