A court can give you permission to temporarily leave state to work or to visit a gravely ill family member, but to move out of state, to leave for more than 45 days, you must apply for an Interstate Compact Transfer through your probation department. If you apply successfully, your probation will be transferred to the new state for supervision. The sending state, however, retains the right to call you back at any point during your supervision for any reason. They will basically leave you alone unless you violate probation or parole, if you stop paying the supervision fees, or if you pick up a new charge or get convicted.
Typically you can only apply for a transfer if you are on felony probation or parole, however, certain misdemeanor convictions also qualify. They include:
- a sex offense that requires being on the sex offender registry,
- a crime that involved physical threats or actual violence,
- possession of a gun,
- a second or higher DUI
- more than a year of probation attached to your misdemeanor
The Interstate Commission for Adult Offender Supervision designed the transfer agreement to allow monitoring of offenders who move across state lines. Compact transfer agreements are not a right, they are a privilege and your probation officer can decline to submit a request without giving you a reason. If he or she agrees to consider a transfer, you have to meet certain criteria to be approved. Criteria points include:
- you either have to have lived in the state you want to move to for at least a year before you committed the crime, or members of your family have to have lived there for at least 180 days prior to your transfer request.
- keep in mind that they usually won't count your cousin, ex-spouse or prison pen pal as eligible family members
- Those who count are your mom, dad, adult sister, brother, uncle, aunt, grandparent, adult child or a step-parent.
- your family members have to be willing to support you and help supervise you while you obtain work and get on your feet in the new state.
The steps to getting transferred are straightforward:
- your probation officer has you sign a transfer request.
- it gets sent to the receiving state.
- the probation department in that state then conducts an investigation that may include visiting your potential home, talking with your family members and verifying job status.
- the receiving state is not supposed to refuse your request to transfer as long as you have a verifiable acceptable place to live and potential income sources there.
- the sending state holds all the power to refuse or allow you to go, with or without reason.
- in most cases, transfer requests to attend school or enter a residential rehab are denied. A waiting job or places to apply for work and a family support system have a better chance of being approved.
The process can be lengthy, lasting from several weeks to several months or longer. You are expected to continue following all probation rules while waiting. You also have to remain in the sending state while the investigation is done. If you leave state without your probation officer's permission, even for a valid reason, your transfer request can be refused and you can be violated. In addition, you will have to agree that your probation in the new state will follow that state's guidelines, even if they are stricter than your current state's probation.
Once the receiving state gives the go-ahead, things move very quickly, so it is important for you to be ready to travel on short notice. Your probation officer could have a travel pass in your hands within 24 hours of getting the faxed report from the receiving state. The travel pass will have strict time lines about how long you have to get to the new state and appear in person at your new probation office.
Moving probation or parole from one state to another is not an easy task, but can be done. For more information on Interstate Compact Transfers go to http://www.interstatecompact.org/Home.aspx