Permission from Probation Officer to Attend Burning Man

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Permission from Probation Officer to Attend Burning Man

Postby ronica » Thu Jun 13, 2013 7:40 pm

Fellow Burners!

Need advice. I got a DUI a couple months back (in Colorado), and now I'm on probation. I've told everyone--we all need a little reminder to be careful--so I know I'm not the only Burner to have been in this situation. ;)

Now, the trouble is Burning Man this year. To leave the state, I need to get permission from Probation Officer. And I also need permission to not call the UA Testing line every day. Probation = sober = random testing not just for drugs but also for alcohol; I call every day and get tested once or twice a month. When I had a business trip to MD, I had to call everyday even though I couldn't go in for a test. Then tell my PO if I my number came up. With cell service being pretty tenuous, it's not enough to say I'm going on a trip out of state, I have to say I'll be off the grid.

I'm not great at lying, but the good news is we only communicate by email. I'm great at email. I do believe the best lies include some detail.

So, here's the question: Anyone ever need this kind of permission to go to Burning Man? What did you say about where you were going? Family reunion? Outward Bound?
)'(The Man burns....every day)'(
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Re: Permission from Probation Officer to Attend Burning Man

Postby trilobyte » Thu Jun 13, 2013 8:14 pm

Everything about your plan sounds like an incredibly bad idea. It won't kill you to miss a year, but you'll most likely do time if you get caught in the lie or the violation of the terms of your parole (especially the crossing state lines to do so). And with it being a DUI to begin with, the fact you're skipping out to go to a party will only make things much worse.

In addition to the advice of other burners, you may want to consider talking to your attorney. Try and get a sense of what kind of actual shitstorm you'd be facing if you get busted (like if your parole officer has ever heard of Facebook or some such nonsense).

I know that once you've been to Burning Man, missing a year really sucks. It might even seem like the end of the world. But it's not. I've had gap years and managed to survive. And hey, with a year off that gives you a head start on the 2014 burn and you'll have the added advantage of additional time and money to throw into building and bringing something really epic next year.

Regardless of what you decide to do, good luck!
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Re: Permission from Probation Officer to Attend Burning Man

Postby Captain Goddammit » Thu Jun 13, 2013 8:42 pm

Second opinion... same as the first!
I've just missed FOUR years at Burning Man, for various reasons. You'll live. You're risking major, major consequences just to go to a party.
Until you get out from under the cloud of the legal system, I'd keep pretty fucking clean. You could ask permission to go to Burning Man... if the PO says no, don't be an idiot. POs can be reasonably lenient and nice if you are really toeing the line and flying right. They can fuck your day all to hell if you piss them off.
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Re: Permission from Probation Officer to Attend Burning Man

Postby Elorrum » Thu Jun 13, 2013 8:43 pm

If you have probation, I'm guessing that means you have a suspended sentance. First you'll serve that. It gets worse and then it gets worse faster. Don't play around with this.
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Re: Permission from Probation Officer to Attend Burning Man

Postby TT120 » Thu Jun 13, 2013 9:50 pm

Don't lie to him. Ask your PO if you can go to Burningman, if he says yes, you're golden. If not, stay home. He can make your life suck really bad if he wants to.
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Re: Permission from Probation Officer to Attend Burning Man

Postby Dr. Pyro » Fri Jun 14, 2013 7:39 am

Why not ask your PO to join you at Burning Man? Maybe he's a real party animal.
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Re: Permission from Probation Officer to Attend Burning Man

Postby Sham » Fri Jun 14, 2013 8:24 am

Think of the credibility you'd get if you ask if you can go to Burning Man and he says no, and you actually stay home. If he say yes, you win as well.
You have a good opportunity to prove yourself as a trustworthy person---don't miss it! :D

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Re: Permission from Probation Officer to Attend Burning Man

Postby ronica » Fri Jun 14, 2013 8:53 am

So, I think people misunderstood my request. I'm not saying that i'm going to leave the state without permission. I would never do that. I take this all far too seriously. I'm an extremely upstanding citizen looking to get through my probation very smoothly. I've been doing all my classes, community service, etc.

I want to ask if I can go to Nevada, and explain that I'll be off-the-grid during the days I'm actually in the event. I just didn't want to say it's Burning Man, because people have all kinds of misconceptions about it. I'm under VERY low monitoring, and will never actually meet my PO (which one of my advisors noted is an indication that I'm considered extremely low risk). I should also note I don't have an attorney - I haven't needed one. Accepted my plead down sentence. I had a very low BAC.

Although, having said that, I'm remembering that people do sometimes have cell service. Maybe with my AT&T phone I can call everyday, and I don't need to say what event I'll be at.
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Re: Permission from Probation Officer to Attend Burning Man

Postby ronica » Fri Jun 14, 2013 8:55 am

And I understand people are saying dont go -- if I get directly told no, I'll obey. But it really would kill me. This will be my 10th Burn since '02, and my wife and I are planning to make it our last in BRC. It's also the first where I'm bringing a significant art project / theme camp, which I've been working on all year.

As it is I'm delaying my scheduled 6-week paid sabbatical from work because of this probation.
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Re: Permission from Probation Officer to Attend Burning Man

Postby ronica » Fri Jun 14, 2013 8:56 am

[quote="Captain Goddammit"]Second opinion... same as the first!
I've just missed FOUR years at Burning Man, for various reasons. You'll live. You're risking major, major consequences just to go to a party.
Until you get out from under the cloud of the legal system, I'd keep pretty fucking clean. You could ask permission to go to Burning Man... if the PO says no, don't be an idiot. POs can be reasonably lenient and nice if you are really toeing the line and flying right. They can fuck your day all to hell if you piss them off.[/quote]


It's not just a party to me. I'm a Ranger, and I'm helping bring a project, Story Portal, that I'm very passionate about and that I've been working on for months. And this was going to be my last Burn in BRC.
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Re: Permission from Probation Officer to Attend Burning Man

Postby EspressoDude » Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:49 am

don't F it up like every one above says.

Being a ranger might count as "community Service"
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Re: Permission from Probation Officer to Attend Burning Man

Postby some seeing eye » Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:10 am

It is not that expensive to rent a sat phone. Some will do light email clients plugged into a laptop.

Do not rely on playa commercial cell service, experimental cell service or the shared wifi for anything critical. It has been discussed extensively on ePlaya. Driving or busing into Gerlach or Empire for connectivity does work.
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Re: Permission from Probation Officer to Attend Burning Man

Postby Asquared » Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:11 am

why not tell the truth, but maybe not the whole truth?

you're going on a camping trip in the desert, its a yearly tradition that you and your wife have done for the last 10 years. there is no cell service.
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Re: Permission from Probation Officer to Attend Burning Man

Postby trilobyte » Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:26 am

If your parole officer feels that your permission was granted under misleading circumstances or false pretenses (which what you're describing most certainly is), that's all it takes. Checking with an attorney (any attorney that handles DUI will do) should easily confirm that.

Congrats on finally actually getting involved in something after a decade, but considering the circumstances of your DUI and probation you might have wanted to consider your situation and options a bit sooner. The smart thing to do is still to sit this one out - there will be plenty of awesome projects to build and bring next year.
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Re: Permission from Probation Officer to Attend Burning Man

Postby illy dilly » Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:20 am

ronica wrote:It's not just a party to me. I'm a Ranger, and I'm helping bring a project, Story Portal, that I'm very passionate about and that I've been working on for months. And this was going to be my last Burn in BRC.

Is this the same Story Portal that was at Apo, a big wheel you spin then have to tell a story? That might not have been called Story Portal, but I believe it was.
SUPER KICK ASS ART PIECE!!!!!!
We were close by and listened to a lot of folks tell great stories. Everything from heart felt tear jerkers to "that one time I...." funny stories. It gets everyone around involved either as a teller or as a listener and audience to the story teller.

As for the probation question, I sorta agree with most of these folks, but not some. I too had a DUI in CO, though I had to actually go see the probation officer(s). If its still the same, you're likely going through the same third party independent contractor probation "franchise" that most DUI folks in CO go through. My experience with the third party probation was great, as far as probation goes. They would let me leave the state regularly, though mostly for work, but after a couple work leaves, I'd just have to ask and they wouldn't even blink an eye.
For the most part, I didn't screw up on probation either, and they were pretty lax about it. Especially after the first year with out a single issue.

I'd tell them that you plan to go on a camping trip in Northern Nevada near Reno with friends and family. Tell them the time line and that you may or may not have cell reception, you just don't know, but last year you had intermittent reception here and there. Offer to take a UA and BA before leaving and upon returning. I'd leave out that you're going to Burning Man, unless specifically asked "Are you going to Burning Man?" Don't lie, just be vague enough for reasonable misinterpretation unless specifically asked. I'd mention that it is an annual camping trip that you and your friends go on, and that you were planning on going well before you got your DUI and were put on probation.
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Re: Permission from Probation Officer to Attend Burning Man

Postby gyre » Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:22 am

Actually the rules and attitudes in these situations vary tremendously.
Pretty hard to get a feel from emails I would imagine, but some probation officers won't want to be put on the spot of knowing it's burning man.
I would at least say it's a group of people socializing, some drinking, but that you won't be, if you won't.
Important to be clear that you will be off the road for the duration, since driving is the first focus of the probation.
Some programs will give a flat no to any pleasure trip out of state.
Discuss it to the detail they seem to want.
Emphasize the volunteer part.
They may understand that.

Just ask first if a pleasure trip is a possibility.
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Re: Permission from Probation Officer to Attend Burning Man

Postby akmojo » Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:43 am

as a former Probation Officer I can say... I hope you are ready for the consequences if you play the game of partial truth and get caught..
it is not just a bad day.. it is potentially the REST of your suspended sentence.... I rewarded people on my caseload that were honest and made people that lied regret it..
why waste time asking here when a simple call to the PO assigned to your case can quickly give you the final, difinitive answer...
it's all about choices and your decision will also be a reflection your ethics.. there is always next year, this will be my second year in a row of not being on the Playa, life goes on...
good luck !!
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Re: Permission from Probation Officer to Attend Burning Man

Postby Savannah » Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:44 am

illy dilly wrote:I'd tell them that you plan to go on a camping trip in Northern Nevada near Reno with friends and family. Tell them the time line and that you may or may not have cell reception, you just don't know, but last year you had intermittent reception here and there. Offer to take a UA and BA before leaving and upon returning. I'd leave out that you're going to Burning Man, unless specifically asked "Are you going to Burning Man?" Don't lie, just be vague enough for reasonable misinterpretation unless specifically asked. I'd mention that it is an annual camping trip that you and your friends go on, and that you were planning on going well before you got your DUI and were put on probation.


That's what I would do.
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Re: Permission from Probation Officer to Attend Burning Man

Postby akmojo » Fri Jun 14, 2013 12:12 pm

just remember......
opinions are like assholes, everyone has one but it will be YOUR ass in the shower in jail if your PO catches you in a misleading, partial truth....
you would not only have a record of conviction for DUI for the REST of your life, but you'd be adding a probation violation for lying to your PO...
you're on probation for DUI, do you really think the Court will be OK with you going to Burningman with it's default world perception of wild times ?
again.. good luck !!
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Re: Permission from Probation Officer to Attend Burning Man

Postby Dr. Pyro » Fri Jun 14, 2013 12:19 pm

Way to go Mr. Buzzkill!
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Re: Permission from Probation Officer to Attend Burning Man

Postby gyre » Fri Jun 14, 2013 12:30 pm

Really depends.

It wasn't probation, but I got a court date reset due to nonrefundable tickets.
Almost automatic.

Probation is commonly used with the intent to violate people and stick them with a harsher sentence.
In that case, don't even try.

And they can extend probation forever.
Met a guy that had been on probation for six years for a minor charge.
Yes, he was an idiot.

I really don't mean to recommend anything that the probation officer will consider dishonest.
Bad idea.
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Re: Permission from Probation Officer to Attend Burning Man

Postby akmojo » Fri Jun 14, 2013 12:41 pm

Doc... I only kill what I have tags for....
now buzzes.. THATS a different story !! ;-)
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Re: Permission from Probation Officer to Attend Burning Man

Postby mudpuppy000 » Fri Jun 14, 2013 12:58 pm

Image
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Re: Permission from Probation Officer to Attend Burning Man

Postby Chowski » Fri Jun 14, 2013 1:57 pm

Don't listen to these losers. Or to the law! You should totally just sneak away for 8 or 9 days to go to Burning Man because I heard THIS YEAR is going to be the MOST AMAAAAZING year EEEEVVVVEEERRRR!!!!! Worry about the consequences later. What, are you SCARED?!?!!
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Re: Permission from Probation Officer to Attend Burning Man

Postby BBadger » Fri Jun 14, 2013 4:53 pm

You're an idiot for even considering this.

Unfortunately, it sounds like you've already made your decision and are just trying to find the means to carry it out. Well then go ahead and lie to your probation officer and potentially ruin your chances of getting off lightly from your DUI. I can just see it: fitting this pattern of failure, you carry out some other stupid act on the playa (or even before it), get caught by a LEO, and oh look at what we have here! Enjoy that compounded interest on your sentence.

Maybe this is a microcosm for your life in general and it would do the rest of us a favor if these events played out. Go ahead and do it.
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Re: Permission from Probation Officer to Attend Burning Man

Postby Sham » Fri Jun 14, 2013 5:19 pm

Whether you get a yes or a no from the postings here, it ultimately comes down to YOU making a decision that you have to live by. There will be no one to blame for any of your future problems except yourself.
Go or don't go and best of luck with the consequences.
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Re: Permission from Probation Officer to Attend Burning Man

Postby TomServo » Fri Jun 14, 2013 6:30 pm

Image

If your serious about honoring your commitments of probation, offer to piss for Washoe County Sheriffs. Unrealistic..but at is at least, a gesture your PO might appreciate.
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Re: Permission from Probation Officer to Attend Burning Man

Postby ronica » Sat Jun 15, 2013 12:36 pm

I appreciate everyone's input.

I am an out-loud thinker, so being able to think things through here was very helpful. I appreciate everyone's experiences.

(Resisting the troll who tried to mischaracterize my entire life simply because I want permission to leave the state--permission I've already had while on probation--to go on a trip I've been planning for months.

(Not so much resisting the snarky congrats for finally participating after 10 years -- I just said it was my first theme camp, which was an exaggeration because we brought Story Portal last year, but it wasn't as big as this year and this year we'll be placed....I've been a temple guardian for years, and a ranger, and I provide ways for co-participation each and every day on the playa. I won't list the ways I volunteer at home.)

I especially appreciate those who reminded me that a half-truth is a lie. You are right that that's a silly game to play. I have always lived my life honestly, and I will continue to do so.

The sat phone seems like a great idea. I'd much rather stay in compliance with phone calls, so I'll investigate that.

I'm good now. Thanks again, everyone.
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Re: Permission from Probation Officer to Attend Burning Man

Postby some seeing eye » Sat Jun 15, 2013 1:20 pm

If you go the sat phone route, you might do some thorough research on *69 vs 800 numbers and test it. Maybe starting your call ins from the sat phone in advance of the event and continuing after. "Oh I got a new phone". Plus with a sat phone, you will have plenty of new friends!
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Re: Permission from Probation Officer to Attend Burning Man

Postby Canoe » Sat Jun 15, 2013 1:48 pm

some seeing eye wrote:...Plus with a sat phone, you will have plenty of new friends!

And a unique persuasion tool for Ranger patrol:
...waving phone by ear, "You'd better behave, I can call your Probation Officer!"
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