Can Probation be transferred to another State? Yes, is the simple and straightforward answer to that question. But, leaving it there will give you the impression that it is a norm or a right. Actually, in general, you are not allowed to move to another state when you are on probation until your probation is served and completed.
However, it is possible to move if your reasons for moving is a good enough. For instance health grounds, to be closer to a family, or to accept a job offer.
In addition, you may be able to get your probation transferred under the U.S Interstate Compact, governed by the Interstate Commission for Adult Offender Supervision, and all U.S. states and territories are members.
The process to be followed for your transfer to be approved is somewhat complex, but it’s also the only acceptable way you can transfer your probation from one state to another.
How to Have Your Probation Transferred to Another State
1. Go through the compact’s transfer process
You will have to the Compact’s transfer process, as this will determine your transfer eligibility. A parolee must meet the requirements if he or she was convicted of a felony or misdemeanor that involves more than a year of probation, and you have more than 90 days of probation remaining.
Misdemeanors for transfer through the Compact are required to include those involving physical or psychological violence, firearm possession, and sex offenses for which registration is required.
If you fail to meet the criteria for a mandatory transfer, your transfer may not be approved by the committees of both the sentencing state (where you currently live) and the receiving state (where you want to move).
2. Work with your parole officer
If you meet the basic eligibility criteria, pitch the topic to your parole officer and get his or her opinion on the viability of a transfer.
You also may be eligible to receive a temporary travel permit until your transfer is approved, but this process must begin as soon as possible if your need to travel is urgent.
However, if you were convicted of a sex offense you are not eligible for a temporary travel permit, and will not be allowed to travel to another state for any length of time without completing the full requirements of the Compact transfer process being approved for transfer.
Ask your parole officer about the cost of supervision in the state where you wish to move, they may differ from those you pay in your current state.
Keep in mind that the Compact doesn’t require your probation officer to cooperate with you. So, If your probation officer is on a different page with your transfer plans, it may be very difficult if not outrightly impossible for you to get the transfer approved.
3. Provide the necessary information to your probation officer
Complete your application form, and ensure that your probation officer has all additional documentation and update about the opportunities you want to pursue in the other state.
Having a good reason for transfer will determine in part if you qualify for a mandatory or discretionary transfer.
Along with your application form, you must include evidence of employment or any other means of financial support in the state to which you want to transfer, proof of your own prior residency in the state or that of your family, and a piece of evidence that shows your compliance with all the legal conditions and requirements of probation.
Your transfer application can only be completed by you and your probation officer. If you submit a transfer application with inadequate information it may result in the delay or even denial of your transfer.
4. Submit your transfer application to the compact office in your current state
Typically, your parole officer should send your application to the compact office.
Once this is done, the transfer process may take several months to be fully processed and no specific criteria exist on dates to determine when circumstances justify expediting an application. Both the sentencing state and the receiving state make independent decisions regarding the speed with which your application will be processed.
You may need to pay transfer fees when you submit your application, varying widely among states, and anywhere from $25 to $200. It is also non-refundable regardless of your application approval or disapproval.
Some states may provide a waiver of fees if you can demonstrate that paying may result in very high financial hardship; but, the vast majority of states have no waiver provisions.
Typically your fee must be paid to the Clerk of Circuit Court, but your probation officer should guide you on the specifics in your jurisdiction regarding the method of payment.
5. Wait for a decision from the compact office
When the compact office in the sentencing state receives your application, they will review it and determine if you meet the state’s requirements for a transfer.
If your current state determines that your plan and reason for transferring to the other state are not viable, it will reject your application.
In some cases, you can request a hearing before a judge if your transfer application is rejected by your current state. Check with your probation officer for a guide.
Note: Your current state court has no authority either to allow or order your transfer to the other state. The other state must willingly grant you permission before you can move there.
If the sentencing state approves your transfer, it will have to send the application to be reviewed by the receiving state.
There is no deadline included by the Compact by which your current state must make its decision regarding your application, so it may take some time.
6. Await the results of the receiving state’s investigation
The receiving state will conduct an investigation of your situation and make a decision whether to accept your transfer most likely within 45 days of receiving your application.
If your reasons for transfer do not meet the criteria for a mandatory transfer, the compact office in the state where you want to move has discretion on whether to accept or reject your application.
Always know the ability to transfer your probation is a privilege, not a right, and as such you have no right to appeal the decision if your application is rejected by either your current state or the state you wish to move to.
7. Receive reporting instructions from your receiving state.
If the receiving state accepts your transfer, it will send you instructions on how to move and what to do when you arrive there.
Your new state may impose additional terms to your probation, provided these conditions would have been imposed had you been sentenced in that state, you will have to follow them.
Your new state also may require monthly supervision fees that differ from those you had to pay in the sentencing state. Review your reporting instructions carefully to know what fees you must pay and their due date.
8. Know the Transfer Consequences
Ensure that you fully understand the requirements and consequences of transfer and also that you are ready to follow the subsequent instructions of the receiving state.
The new state has to supervise you in the same way it would anyone else on probation in that state, with no preferential treatment.
To complete your probation term, you must be in compliance with both states conditions.
9. Move to your new state
Your arrangements must be made to move within the dates time limit stated in your reporting instructions.
Individual state laws may require specification of travel means, by road or flight to travel to your new state. You will find the necessary information in your reporting instructions.
Typically, travel isn’t always allowed until completion of the transfer process. If you set out before, you risk your application being rejected or re-sentenced for a parole violation.
10. Report to your new parole officer
Follow your reporting instructions on when, where, and how to meet your new parole officer in your new state
Your new parole officer cannot collect fines, restitution, or court costs as it is required that you pay pursuant to your original sentence state.
If you still owe money to the sentencing state, you will make a means to meat the payment arrangements with the sentencing state.