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Can You Leave the State On Probation in Texas?

If you’re on probation in Texas and wondering whether you can relocate or even leave the state, the short answer is that it will be complicated. However, it’s not impossible.

There are rules and guidelines that allow you to leave Texas while you’re on probation. You must complete certain steps first, and your probation officer may need to approve your request.

The steps are different depending on whether you want to relocate to another state or simply schedule a temporary visit with friends or family in a different county.

Key Takeaways

  • Individuals on probation may relocate from one state to another, but you must complete an application and multiple officials must approve it.
  • The cost to request a permanent move while on probation should be minimal, but you will have to be able to pay your moving expenses and the probation fees in your new state without derailing your finances.
  • A person on misdemeanor probation can typically travel around Texas without approval from their probation officer. However, they will need permission to visit another state.
  • People on felony probation will need permission to leave their county of residence or visit another state.

READ MORE: What happens if you violate probation in Texas?

Can You Relocate From Texas While on Probation?

Texas adheres to the Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision, a contract between all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands to allow individuals on probation to transfer to another area.

In a nutshell, officials from Texas and the state you want to move to must approve your application.

This application will be forwarded to The State of Texas, which will consider the transfer request. 

After that, the application will be sent to officials in the state in which you’re planning to move. These officials will also need to approve your transfer.

READ MORE: What happens if I fail a drug test while on probation?

How to Transfer Your Probation

Start by discussing a possible transfer with your probation officer. They can help you complete the necessary paperwork and will know the requirements to relocate to a new state.

In general, you won’t be able to transfer probation if:

  • There are fewer than 90 days left on your term
  • You don’t have any family or friends in the state to help assist with your supervision or
  • You’re unable to find a job in the new state

You will need to be able to support yourself financially throughout your probation. Officials will not approve your transfer request if they’re worried that your move will derail your financial situation.

How Much Does it Cost to Transfer Probation to Another State?

It should cost little or nothing to obtain a transfer, but you should speak with your probation officer to discuss any possible fees.

You likely will have to pay a different set of probation fees than what you’re paying in Texas. The new fees could be higher or lower. You will also have to pay your moving expenses.

You will need to ensure that you can afford the new out-of-pocket costs.

If you don’t have a probation officer, you will need to file a motion in court to allow you to relocate for work. Contact us at Michael & Associates for a free consultation to discuss the next steps.

It is possible to travel throughout Texas or the U.S. while on probation, but you may need to get permission from your probation officer first.

Can You Travel While on Probation?

Do you want to visit friends in a neighboring town? Are you considering visiting your family for a holiday?

Before you make plans, you must consider the terms of your probation.

There are two types of probation in Texas:

  • Misdemeanor probation is granted to some offenders convicted of misdemeanor charges
  • Felony probation is granted to some offenders convicted of felony charges

A person on misdemeanor probation can typically leave their county of residence but won’t be able to leave the state without permission from the court. 

Travel restrictions for felony probation are more strict. You likely won’t be able to travel outside your county without permission. Once your trip has been approved, you’ll be given a travel permit.

This may vary by jurisdiction, so check with your probation officer to be completely certain.

Note that if you violate the terms or conditions of your probation, the judge has the authority to revoke it and send the probationer into custody.

Be sure to follow the process carefully to be completely compliant.

Early Termination of Probation

If you’ve completed a certain portion of your probation term and complied with the conditions of your probation, you may be able to petition the court to request an early release so that you can relocate. However, not everyone is eligible for early termination, and it will be up to the judge.

This will allow you to move or travel without restrictions.

To qualify, your probation can’t be for an intoxication-related offense, a sex offender-related crime, or a 3G offense. 3G offenses are considered to be the most serious and violent.

You also must:

  • Pay all fines
  • Complete all mandatory classes and counseling
  • Complete at least one-third of the probation period (or at least two years if your probation was greater than six years)

Consult an Attorney If You Need to Relocate or Travel

If you’re interested in early termination of your probation, not every offense qualifies.

Our team at Michael & Associates can help you determine whether you’re eligible and assess the likelihood of your success.

Contact us today to set up a free consultation. We can help you fully understand your situation, rights, and options, and get your case before a judge, particularly if you’re facing time constraints.

More FAQs About Probation and Travel

In most cases, if you want to travel while on probation, you should discuss it with your probation officer. Some requests are more complicated than others, so it’s best to contact them as soon as you know you need to relocate or even just set up a holiday visit.

How Long Does it Take to Transfer Probation to Another State?

Once Texas has approved your transfer request, the receiving state has 45 calendar days to investigate the proposed plan of supervision and respond to the state’s transfer request. Exceptions may be made for expedited requests due to emergencies or for offenders who resided in the receiving state at sentencing.

Can You Leave the Country While on Probation?

You cannot leave the U.S. while on probation without permission. First, you should contact your probation officer to alert them of the situation and ask about the next steps.

You may need to get authorization from a judge.

If you’re dealing with a family emergency and time is of the essence, contact us at Michael & Associates and we can advise you and help you get the authorization you need.

If you decide to leave without getting authorization, you risk facing a motion to revoke your probation. 

What Happens If You’re on Probation and Leave the State Without Permission

No matter what the circumstances may be, if you’re on felony probation in Texas, you cannot leave the state without your probation officer’s approval.

If you leave without the proper paperwork, a warrant will be issued, and you risk arrest if you are stopped for any reason in another state.

If you’re facing an emergency, like a death in the family or other immediate crisis, contact your probation officer or give us a call at Michael & Associates. We can help you figure out your next steps. 

Can Felons Leave the Country?

If you’ve been convicted of a felony in the U.S., you should have no problem obtaining a U.S. passport.

However, you may have problems being admitted to some countries. For example, Australia, Canada, and Japan restrict access to anyone with a criminal record.

Foreign travel can be restricted for anyone with a pending case or those who:

  • Owe child support debt of at least $2,500
  • Are on a supervised release program 
  • Were forbidden by a court from leaving the U.S.
  • Face impending court hearings for a federal crime or felony
  • Have been convicted of drug trafficking
Charles Pelowski

Charles Pelowski is a Senior Trial Attorney at Michael & Associates. Charles’s extensive trial skills and strategic insights make him a formidable advocate for those accused of a crime in the Greater Houston area. He has a proven record in handling criminal cases across the state, from minor infractions to high-profile murder cases. His approach to defense is marked by creativity, a deep commitment to the jury trial system, and an unwavering pursuit of justice.

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