In criminal law, probation is a period wherein an officer (often referred to as a probation officer) supervises an offender following incarceration. Typically, courts sentence an offender to probation when they are no longer considered a threat to society.
Probation requires offenders to follow strict rules to avoid jail time. Such regulations will, for the most part, depend on your unique situation. But, in most cases, the officer will instruct you to avoid traveling out of state.
Disregarding such regulations leads to harsher sentences and could even lead to significant jail time. However, your probation officer may permit you to leave your state in specific situations.
The probability of being granted permission to leave your state will depend on your crime and your probation’s intrinsic details. You should note that less severe infractions automatically translate to a higher chance of being allowed to leave your state.
In most US states, misdemeanors are less severe crimes punishable by less than 12 months in jail. You should note that crimes in this category vary depending on the jurisdiction.
Typical misdemeanor examples include petty theft, public intoxication, simple assault, and disorderly conduct. That said, leaving your state on probation may be easier in such cases. Most of the time, individuals get sentenced to probation in misdemeanor cases after submitting a guilty plea. Hence, it is generally easier to travel out of state for absolutely necessary reasons after consulting with your probation officer.
Moreover, when keeping an existing job is one of the conditions attached to your misdemeanor probation, the leniency may extend to traveling out of state to maintain your current work position.
In brief, the less severe the misdemeanor conviction, the higher the chances of being allowed to leave the state. However, such grants come with conditions such as maintaining constant communication with your probation officer, and flouting such regulations is legal grounds for being charged for violating probation.
In the US, a felony is punishable by more than one year of incarceration. Examples include arson, murder, and rape. You should note that the crime is considered a felony even if the defendant receives less than a year behind bars.
In felony charges, probations offer more prospects for the defendant as they can avoid jail time. However, traveling out-of-state options are still significantly smaller than for those with misdemeanor charges.
The situation may become bleak if the judge and probation officer conclude that the defendant is a flight risk. In such instances, the individual will only be allowed to leave the state once the probation period ends.
However, if the defendant provides a genuine reason for traveling and sticks to the terms such as maintaining constant communication with the officer, they may be allowed to travel.
If they digress from these terms, then this could be legal grounds for probation violation, and they could be charged to finish the remainder of the sentence without the option for parole or probation.
Seeking Permission to Travel Out of State While on Probation
When you are looking to travel out of state while on probation, the first step should be to contact your probation officer. You should then explain your reason for travel and the circumstances surrounding the situation.
The officer will then review your request and, depending on your situation, grant or deny the request.
Generally, an individual on probation cannot leave their current state without supervision. Whether such individuals are on probation for a misdemeanor or a felony, they must submit a formal request to their probation officer.
Such requests will only be granted after a review of the request and under specified conditions like maintaining constant communication with the officer. If you have more questions regarding traveling while on probation, speaking with a Shelton criminal lawyer could be in your best interest.