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Chapter 2: Notification of Arrest or Questioning by Law Enforcement Officer (Probation and Supervised Release Conditions)

A. Statutory Authority

Under 18 U.S.C. § 3563(b)(18), the court may provide that the defendant “notify the probation officer promptly if arrested or questioned by a law enforcement officer.”

B. Standard Condition Language

If you are arrested or questioned by a law enforcement officer, you must notify the probation officer within 72 hours.

C. Purpose

  1. This condition serves the statutory sentencing purposes of public protection and rehabilitation. 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)(2)(C) and (D).
  2. This condition enables the probation officer to satisfy the statutory requirements to keep informed as to the conduct and condition of the defendant, report the defendant’s conduct and condition to the sentencing court, and aid the defendant and bring about improvements in his or her conduct and condition. 18 U.S.C. §§ 3603(2)-(3).
  3. This condition allows the probation officer to be aware of potential criminal activity or involvement in high-risk situations by the defendant, and it assists in ensuring that the defendant is complying with other conditions, such as the prohibition on committing new crimes (see: Chapter 1, Section II(A)(1)) or associating with those involved in criminal activity (see: Chapter 2, Section VIII).

D. Method of Implementation

  1. The probation officer relies on automated criminal record checks and periodically conducts criminal record checks.
  2. For higher-risk defendants or for cases where the defendant’s criminal history includes violence or a pattern of criminal activity or criminal associations, the probation officer should make frequent contact with law enforcement agencies that may have information about the activities of the defendant. In dealing with other agencies, probation officers should assess how much disclosure is necessary and proper in order to obtain the necessary cooperation from the other agency and be sensitive to the court’s confidentiality policies. Any doubts should be resolved by securing court permission for the disclosure.