Why it Is Not Easy to Relocate While on Probation
If you have been convicted of a crime and sentenced to probation, you should be very careful when planning to relocate to another area. Here are some of the reasons why such a move would be complicated:
You Must Check In With Your Probation Office
One of the initial sources of difficulties is that, if you are on probation, you are supposed to check in with your probation officer at predetermined intervals. The meetings are supposed to confirm that you are observing the terms of your probation and you are getting your life back on track.
Checking in would not be difficult if you have only moved a few blocks but you are still in the same neighborhood. However, it gets more difficult the further you travel. Moving out of state, for example, would make it difficult for you to make it to the meetings and do it in time too.
The Court and Probation Office Have to Supervise Your Probation
It is not just you who has to contact your probation officer at regular intervals; the probation officer also has to maintain a certain level of supervision over you. For example, if you have been accused of a crime, the probation officer should know about it and determine the step, if any, to take. Indeed, the probation officer is allowed and required to drop in unannounced at your home. Other forms of supervision from the probation officer may include calling you at random times for, say, drug testing if the terms of your probation require you to stay away from drugs. It would be difficult for the probation officer to commit to any of these supervisory duties if you are hundreds or even thousands of miles away, wouldn't it?
Transfer of Responsibility Is Time-Consuming and Expensive
A common solution to the above couple of problems is to transfer your case from your current jurisdiction to the local jurisdiction of your target neighborhood. That way, the current probation officer relinquishes their supervisory duties and you also don't have to check in with them; the probation office in your new home takes over.
Unfortunately, this is not as easy as it sounds. First, both jurisdictions have to be sold in the idea for the transfer to happen, and they may have different prerequisites. Secondly, it takes time and resources, which means it is not something they will be willing to do without compelling reasons.
Do your best to keep the terms of your probation so that you don't get accused of violating them. Consult a criminal defense attorney if you are having issues with your probation.