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Motion to Transfer Probation

If you’re on probation in Florida, you can’t move without first obtaining permission from your probation officer and/ or the judge who placed you on probation.

At The Ansara law firm, our Fort Lauderdale probation attorneys understand that the type of permission you will need is going to depend on the circumstances of your case, whether you’ve been complying with the conditions of your probation, how far you want to move and the reason for your request.

Understand that if your probation officer refuses to cooperate with you or disagrees with your plans to transfer, you may have difficulty in obtaining an approval for your transfer, but it’s not impossible. The court will have the ultimate authority on the issue. This is where having a persuasive attorney will work in your favor.

In general:

  • If you are seeking to move within the county, you need your probation officer’s permission.
  • If you are seeking to move to another county within Florida, you need the judge’s permission for a probation transfer.
  • If you were convicted of a felony and are on probation and want to move out-of-state, you need permission from the judge overseeing your probation, as well as supervision acceptance from the state to which you are moving.
  • If you were convicted of a misdemeanor and are on county probation and seeking an out-of-state move, you will likely need the judge’s permission, as well as permission from the county to which you are moving.

This is sometimes a simple, straightforward process, and other times it can be quite complex. Having an experienced attorney to help you navigate the process is essential.

Interstate Commission for Adult Offender Supervision

The ICAOS is an agency in charge of overseeing day-to-day operations of a formalized agreement among member states that systematically controls the intrastate movements of certain adult offenders. Florida is a member state.

When it comes to probationers seeking to move into Florida or out of Florida, the agency notes that it is up to the discretion of the sending state whether to allow the move. If the sending state approves, the receiving state will accept if the person on probation:

  • Has more than three months or an indefinite time remaining on his or her probation;
  • Already has a supervision plan in place;
  • Is in substantial compliance with the terms of probation in the sending state;
  • Resides in the receiving state OR
  • Has family who is resident in the receiving state who is willing and able to assist as specified in the planned supervision OR
  • Can secure employment or means of support in the receiving state.

There are, however, numerous advisory court opinions on this issue. For example:

  • While the sending state has discretion on whether to approve an offender motion to transfer probation, the receiving state doesn’t have discretion, so long as the offender meets this criteria;
  • It is the responsibility of the sending state to ascertain whether offender is in substantial compliance with the terms and conditions of probation;
  • Undocumented immigrants who meet the definition of “offender” and seek transfer under the compact are subject to jurisdiction and won’t be per se disqualified as long as the individual meets the other criteria;
  • A receiving state isn’t authorized to deny transfer of an offender solely on the basis that the offender has the intention to reside in Section 8 housing.

Offenders who are military members or family of military members or who are transferred by their full-time employer as a means of maintaining employment are entitled to receive reporting instructions from the receiving state no later than two business days following receipt of the request.

In some instances, sending states can issue requests to transfer an offender who fails to meet the aforementioned eligibility requirements, so long as acceptance in the receiving state would support success within the program, including rehabilitation, improvement of public safety and protection of victims’ rights.

Sex offenders may have a more difficult time. It is up to the discretion of the sending state, which will need to provide a host of information that includes one’s sex offender specific assessments, social history, information relevant to the criminal sexual behavior, victim information and law enforcement reports that detail the behavior for which the defendant was convicted. A recommended supervision plan also needs to be included.

It should be noted that if you wish to seek a transfer of your probation immediately upon release from incarceration, you generally can do so no earlier than 120 days prior to the planned release.

In each of these aspects of requesting a transfer of probation, an experienced South Florida probation attorney can help.

For information on moving while on probation, contact the Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Lawyers at The Ansara Law Firm by calling (954) 761-4011.

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