How to Transfer a Probation to a Different County

By Jayne Thompson - Updated June 05, 2017
Man meeting with his probation officer

Probation can usually be transferred to a different county in the same state as long as you get the permission of your probation officer, the receiving county and the court. The probation department is unlikely to object if you are moving for work or school purposes and are in good standing with your probation requirements.

Speak to Your Probation Officer

Explain your desire to transfer your probation to your probation officer and see if it's possible. Each jurisdiction has its own rules, but generally, you'll need to show a compelling reason for submitting a transfer request, such as moving closer to your job or school. If you ordinarily reside in the receiving county, then your probation almost always will be transferred. This might happen, for example, if you were convicted of an offense that took place while on vacation elsewhere and you want to return to your home county.

Make a Transfer Request

If the probation officer thinks you have a good reason for moving, she will fill out the paperwork and make a transfer request on your behalf. The transfer must be approved by a supervisor in the probation department or by a judge, depending on your jurisdiction. While each county has different rules, the judge or supervising officer will consider at least the following factors:

  • Your reasons for moving
  • The conditions of your probation and whether you have followed them
  • The capacity of the new county to make adequate arrangements for your rehabilitation, such as providing substance abuse counseling or a domestic violence program
  • Victim issues, such as whether the move would potentially put you in closer contact with the victim or make it harder for law enforcement to enforce protective orders
  • The balance of any fines, fees or restitution you owe. If you do owe money, the judge might order that you pay it off before your probation is transferred.

Wait for Receiving County's Approval

It is up to the probation office in the receiving county to accept or reject the transfer. The probation office in the new county will investigate your proposed residence and determine if it's appropriate. The office will also verify that you can complete any programs that you were ordered to do as a condition of your probation. If the request is approved, you will receive instructions for reporting to your new probation officer. Once you receive that, you can move.

Converting to a Mail-in Probation

Some counties don't supervise misdemeanor probations. If your conviction is one that the receiving county does not supervise, you may still be able to move by converting your probation to a "mail-in probation." This allows you to report to your current probation officer by mail instead of in person, so you can move out of the county. Ask your probation officer if a mail-in probation is available in your case.

About the Author

Jayne Thompson earned an LLB in Law and Business Administration from the University of Birmingham and an LLM in International Law from the University of East London. She practiced in various “big law” firms before launching a career as a commercial writer. Her work has appeared on numerous legal blogs including Quittance, Upcounsel and Medical Negligence Experts. Find her at www.whiterosecopywriting.com.

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