FAQ: Probation

Q: I'm on probation for DWI and I don't drive. Why can't I enjoy a drink every now and then?

A: If you are on probation for DWI you will have a condition of probation which requires abstinence from alcohol and illegal drugs. Abstinence is required not only to prevent you from drinking and driving while on probation but also to assist you in rehabilitation. The probation officer will test you for use of alcohol and other drugs.

Q: I'm on probation for DWI. Why have I been directed to put an ignition interlock in my car and pay for it?

A: New York State law requires ignition interlocks to be installed at your expense in your car if you have been convicted of DWI for the second time within five years. You may be required to install the interlock on your car or the car that you have been driving even if it is owned by someone else. People who have been convicted more than once for DWI are more at risk for drinking and driving without a license. The ignition interlock is installed to protect the public.

Q: What is expected of me while performing court ordered community service?

A: The community service program or probation officer will inform the participant of his or her responsibilities to: report according to the work schedule; complete all requirements of the community service order; and comply with all participant/community service program/worksite agreements that have been made during the placement process.

Q: Can a probationer sentenced to probation supervision in New York State move out of New York State?

A: Each case is considered individually. When a probationer requests, through his/her probation officer, a transfer of supervision to another state (the “Receiving State”) the probation officer in the current state (the “Sending State”) reviews the case to determine whether the probationer meets the necessary criteria for transfer. That criterion includes having an established residence or immediate family and employment or viable means of support in the Receiving State. It is important to note that a transfer to another state is a privilege provided to probationers who are currently complying with their terms and conditions of probation. If the probation officer agrees to pursue a transfer, the probationer must execute a waiver of extradition and must agree to abide by the terms and conditions set by both the Sending and Receiving States.

Q: What is a JD - Juvenile Delinquent?

A: A person between the ages 7 and 16, who commits an act which if had been committed by an adult, would have been a crime. 

Q: What are PINS - Persons in Need of Supervision?

A: A person less than eighteen years of age who does not attend school in accordance with the NYS Education Law or who is incorrigible, ungovernable, or habitually disobedient and beyond the lawful control of a parent or other person legally responsible for such child's care, or who possesses or uses illegal or controlled substances.

Q: Is a probationer required to work while under probation supervision?

A: That depends. Generally, probation departments will require that a probationer work or attend school or a vocational program while under supervision if doing so improves the probationer’s chance of success. Employment promotes responsibility and accountability and helps to reduce probationer recidivism and enhances public safety. New York State is committed to increasing the number of probationers who are employed and able to support their families, as well as pay restitution to victims and fees to supervising probation departments.

Q: What is "Interim Probation Supervision"?

A: When the court determines that a person is eligible for a probation sentence and the defendant agrees, the court may adjourn the sentencing for up to one year from the date of conviction by virtue of a defendant's plea or a finding of guilt and place a defendant under interim probation supervision.  Note that being placed on interim supervision does not guarantee a sentence to probation at the end of the interim period. In addition, if a person is sentenced to probation after successfully completing the interim probation period, the term of probation begins at sentencing and does not include the time under interim probation supervision. Interim supervision may be terminated prior to the end of the term and may result in a sentence to incarceration based on the individual's performance while under interim supervision.

Q: What is a “Certificate of Relief from Disabilities”?

A: A Certificate of Relief restores most of the rights that are lost due to a felony conviction. The Certificate does not restore the right to hold public office nor does it erase the conviction. Additionally, particular agencies and authorities may still deny an offender’s formerly held rights, based upon further investigation. For example, issuance of a Certificate of Relief to an offender does not ensure that a pistol permit application by the offender will be approved. A Certificate of Relief also does not cancel, or in any other way affect, the automatic forfeiture of a felony DWI offender’s operator’s license.

Q: Who do I call with a question about someone released from a State prison?

A: If you have a question about someone released from State prison, contact Parole at 845-452-0620.