What happens if you leave the state on probation without permission? Courts often grant people on probation certain rights, with conditions attached that could include regular visits with a probation officer and abiding by certain restrictions (e.g. not leaving the state without prior permission).
Leavening the state without authorization constitutes a breach of probation, which if prosecuted can lead to its revocation and starting over again with your term.
Reasons Why an Offender Wants to Leave the State
Criminal offenders on probation typically cannot leave their state or district, due to being considered flight risks. Travel restrictions can often be relaxed if an offender abides with all other terms of their probation such as regular meetings with their officer, attendance at counseling or drug treatment programs and refraining from associating with known criminals.
When traveling while on probation, it is crucial that you contact your probation officer immediately and explain your situation. They are more likely to approve any travel that relates directly to work or emergencies; failure to do so would constitute a violation of probation and could result in the termination of parole or probation.
Experienced legal representation is invaluable when trying to ease travel restrictions on probation. A criminal defense attorney may be able to assist in getting permission granted so you can leave the state, providing evidence such as job loss and unemployment proof that will prove your move will not jeopardize safety. Our attorneys have experience getting these requests approved so our clients can remain connected with family during this difficult time. If you have been charged with a felony offense and placed on probation, contact our office right away so we can assist.
Unemployment or Loss of Employment
Based on the nature of their crime, judges may order offenders placed on probation rather than prison. As part of this arrangement, offenders must live within an specified area, meet regularly with their probation officer and submit to random drug testing – leaving without permission could have serious repercussions.
One of the primary reasons a judge or probation officer will lift travel restrictions for an offender is so they may seek medical treatment, such as chemotherapy or surgery, in another state or county. They could also request relocation because a job offer has come their way in such cases.
In these instances, the probation officer and court will consider factors like compliance with probation terms in a new location; employment opportunities; and connections that the offender has established within that new county or state. Therefore, it is advisable for offenders to discuss their plans with both their probation officer and attorney prior to moving.
In some instances, an offender’s probation can be terminated if they leave their state or area without permission and move elsewhere without first notifying law enforcement. When this occurs, a warrant for arrest will be issued and when found by law enforcement they will be arrested immediately resulting in potentially weeks or even months in jail while their probation case is resolved.
Probation is designed to keep offenders out of jail, yet comes with certain obligations that must be fulfilled such as attending classes, performing community service and making restitution payments. Sometimes courts even require offenders on probation to find employment as part of their sentence.
If a probationer wishes to relocate, they must get prior permission from their probation officer in order to do so. To receive this permission, they will need to fill out a form or speak directly with them about what their plans entail – though this process should be treated seriously as violating one’s probation may still incur charges of violation of contract.
Paul Tafelski, a criminal defense attorney from Georgia, reported that probation officers take travel restrictions seriously for individuals on felony probation and require permission before leaving state boundaries.
Judges must approve transfers, which can be difficult, since offenders need to explain why and provide a timeline of when they plan on returning. He says for misdemeanor probationers it may be easier if they simply inform their probation officer what their plans are.
If an offender is placed on felony probation, their parole officer will often keep tabs on them at all times – especially if they were charged with violent or sexual crimes that required significant punishment. They would want no chance that their parolee could leave without permission and flee to another state.
Summary and informal probationers, on the other hand, may be granted more latitude when making travel plans; it all depends on what the court orders as their terms and conditions of probation.
Under certain conditions, probation offices will allow their clients to travel out-of-state as long as they give formal written permission and inform the appropriate police departments of any trips taken out-of-state. This is especially true if they have established an excellent rapport with their probation officer and communicate regularly about all their plans and trips.
If someone fails to notify their probation officer of plans to move states, they could violate their probation and risk having it revoked, leading them to prison time or having their travel privileges suspended; additionally they may need to go through an Interstate Compact Transfer process before moving.