Sometimes a criminal sentence may not involve going to prison. Instead, you may be sentenced to probation. Probation involves supervision by a probation officer and consists of rules and guidelines you must follow. But during this time, you may want or need to move from your current state. In some cases, you can transfer your probation to another state.
What is probation?
Probation is when someone serves their sentence in the community. It is an alternative to prison. During probation, a person lives under many rules and conditions. The rules for supervision vary with every state. But there are some rules that are common. Some examples include meetings with a probation officer and maintaining a job. They also include not seeing other people who are on probation or have a criminal record. People who break the rules of their probation risk going to prison.
Can you transfer probation to another state?
Yes. This is because of the Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision (ICAOS). ICAOS is an agreement that allows transfers of offender supervision plans from one state to another. ICAOS applies in all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and other U.S. territories.
How do you transfer probation to another state?
The process to transfer supervision from one states to another under ICAOS is simple.
First, your supervising authority must start the process with a request. A supervising authority will only do so if a transfer is in the best interests of you and the public. Only the supervising authority can make such a request. You or your friends and family cannot.
Second, you must prove that you have
- three or more months left on supervision,
- been compliant with your supervision plan,
- a valid supervision plan for the other state and means to support it,
- an eligible felony, misdemeanor or deferred sentence conviction, and
- some sort of reporting, monitoring or conditional requirement.
In addition to these requirements, you must also show some sort of relationship with the state you want to transfer to. Examples include when you
- are a resident of that state;
- have a family member in that state that will help them;
- are an active duty military member deployed to that state;
- are a veteran that was referred to that state for medical reasons;
- live with a active duty military member that was deployed in that state;
- live with a family member that was or will by relocated to that other state by their full-time employer; or
- can show that the transfer would promote public and victim safety.
Once you can complete those two steps, then your current state must submit the application for transfer. It can generally take up to 45 days for the receiving state to respond. During this time, you will have to stay in contact with your current supervising authority about the transfer request.
Some procedures vary depending on the state. You should check out your state’s procedure before starting it. Many states, such as Virginia, make the process simple.
Is probation the same as parole?
No. Parole is when someone is conditionally released from prison after serving time. For probation, you usually do not go to prison at all. Instead of time behind bars, you are supervised in your community. If you violate probation, you may have to go to prison instead. However, supervised probation and parole may have similar guidelines.
Parole does not have the same rules as probation when it comes to transfers. Probation has a national set of rules regarding transfers under ICAOS. Parole transfer rules, however, vary from state to state.
You can transfer your probation to another state. This is because of a nationwide agreement called ICAOS. But there are certain requirements you must meet to be eligible for transfer. While you can transfer probation supervision, this may not be the case with parole. Those rules are different in each state.