Can I Travel Out of State while on Probation?


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When on probation for a crime, it is important to follow all the rules that affect the person to include simple procedures such as remaining within the same state unless authorized. However, there may exist specific processes that permit the individual to leave the same location when the authorities receive communication about such events.

There is the possibility of traveling out of state even when the individual is still within his or her probationary period. However, to do so during this time, the probation officer needs to approve the travel, and in certain cases, the person may only travel outside the state for emergencies. During the out of state time, the probation member needs to keep his or her communication open and constant. Reports to the officer are essential, and plans need explaining. Knowing what the travel is for and where to are crucial for the tripís approval. When the person committed a minor infraction of the law, travel outside the immediate area is not often complicated.

The Probation and Travel Details

Probation usually occurs when the person is no longer a threat to society. This is usually part of the legal proceedings for misdemeanors. First-time offenses and less serious infractions often lead to only probation which could have use as a deterrent to crime. The ability to travel outside the immediate location or state is usually possible when the individual has few conditions or terms attached to the probation. However, if the violation was a felony, probation may occur after serving so much time in jail or prison. Then, there may exist a risk of him or her fleeing the area. This could limit mobility and the possibility of traveling anywhere.

The Case of a Misdemeanor

Whether the person acquires probation through negotiation, pleading guilty or by mitigating the possible damage a conviction will cause, he or she may have a better chance of successful outcomes in his or her life through a misdemeanor than with a felony. This could ensure better arrangements after the conviction transpires such as the ability to travel out of state when necessary or to keep a job. However, it is even possible that probation will remain short or the entire matter will disappear from the personís record after the sentence ends. The less severe circumstances, the better chances are generally that the probation officer will permit an instance of travel out of the state.

The Case of a Felony

While probation may provide a better opportunity than remaining behind bars, the individual may have fewer options in traveling out of the state. He or she may have difficulty if the courts and probation officer determine the individual is a flight risk. Then, leaving the location by car, airplane or train may not happen until probation ends. However, if the convicted felon communicates a serious matter and keeps contact open the entire time, he or she may travel to another state. However, any change in plans must relay to the probation officer, or the individual may face a violation.

Permitted Travel

When on probation, the individual needs to first contact his or her probation officer. The event, circumstances and specific situation need review and explanation. With continued communication and the details revealed, the person may travel with the permission of the officer. If there are any risks that the person will attempt to flee or commit another crime, the travel may remain in a banned status. However, with faith in the convict, the officer will grant permission. Then, it is a matter of continued contact and information from the individual to the probation officer to ensure that everything is above board and in line with the conditions and rules of probation.

Contact and Assistance of the Lawyer

The individual may not need to maintain contact with his or her lawyer throughout the probationary period, but when a violation occurs, it is important to communicate the issue immediately. Any complication in traveling out of state may require the help of the lawyer to smooth over the matter. The legal professional may need to speak with the probation officer to explain the situation.

If the person receives unfair treatment from the probation officer or is unable to travel out of state in an emergency, a legal professional may need to communicate with the officer or attempt to change the person for the client. Travel is not strictly a prohibited act, but when following all rules, the individual usually has the option.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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