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Can a Felon Move to Another State?

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Remember the day when life was more carefree, before that felony conviction?

Felons may be able to recall the days when they traveled freely. Not only that, but many probably remember the times that they moved from one state to another. Those were the days.

Now that they have completed that long prison sentence, can they move to another state?

This blog post will address the issue of whether a felon can move to another state.

  • Moving to Another State After Probation
  • Moving While on Probation
  • Criteria for Transferring Probation
  • Courtesy Supervision
  • Supporting a Felon in Moving to Another State


Moving to Another State After Probation

For felons who have completed probation, they are allowed to move to a different state with no restrictions. The exception would be for those who are registered sex offenders. Moving will still require them to register in the state to which they are moving.

Moving While on Probation

While still on probation, felons can move out of state through the Interstate Commission for Adult Offender Supervision (ICAOS).

In such instances, felons’ probation will continue in the new state.

This transfer of probation must take place when any felons want to remain in another state for more than 45 consecutive days in a 12-month period.  A stay for less time requires only travel permission.

A transfer request will not be granted for attending school or for treatment, such as drug dependency.

A transfer of probation is required for the following:

  • Any case with more than 90 days of probation remaining
  • Felony offenders
  • Misdemeanor offenders with a sentence of at least one year of supervision in an offense involving violence, possession of a firearm, a DUI, or a sex offense requiring registration
  • Some deferred prosecutions

The application must be submitted to the court for approval.  The new state must also accept felons before they can move.

Rules on probation approval for moving vary by state.  A check with the state involved and the probation officer is recommended.

Criteria for Transferring Probation

The following are the criteria for transfer:

  • The defendant must be a resident of the receiving state for at least one year prior to the date of the offense.
  • The defendant must have family in the receiving state who has resided in the receiving state for at least 180 days and is willing to assist in supervising the defendant, and the defendant can find employment or has a means of support.
  • The defendant must be in compliance with all rules of their probation in their original state at the time of the application for transfer.

During the time the application is being reviewed, felons will remain on probation and are not allowed to leave the state even on a travel pass.

After the probation officer has approved the move request, felons must be accepted under courtesy supervision in the state where they are moving.

Moving without approval from a probation officer will be classified as a probation violation, resulting in being returned to prison to complete the original sentence.

Before even applying to move to another state, it is important to receive permission to visit a state that might be a future home.  Leaving the state for a visit without permission will result in the request to move being denied.

It is important to work with the probation officer to get a move approved.

If felons have complied with the terms of their probation, they will have a better chance for the move to be approved.  If there have been any issues with reporting, they will be considered a flight risk, and the request will be denied.

Among the factors the probation officer will consider is the reason for the move.

That is, whether the move is to get married, to be close to family, or to get a job will be important factors.  These are the primary reasons for allowing felons to move to a different state.

Courtesy Supervision

Once the probation officer has approved the move, the officer will file an application to the new state for “courtesy supervision”.  Felons’ probation will be supervised as a favor to the previous state.

If the request is approved, a waiver of extradition will be obtained in case they want felons to return to the original state.

Felons must wait to move until they have received a written authorization and know where to report in the new state.

Even though the probation has been transferred, the sentence hasn’t.  Any violation of the terms will result in being incarcerated in the original state to complete the sentence.

The receiving state has 45 days to complete an investigation and decide whether to accept a felon.  The investigation consists of requesting details regarding felons’ compliance, behavior, and information about employment.

If the new state approves the transfer, instructions for reporting to a new probation officer are sent to the original state.  A travel permit will be issued for a felon transferring, and the felon will have five business days to report to the newly-assigned officer.

For sex offenders, transfer criteria are stricter.  The receiving state will want specific information on sex offenders relating to their sex offense and information, including any relationship, concerning the victim along with a statement from the victim’s representative.

All of these are important factors in determining whether felons can move to another state. Establishing a connection with an attorney in the new state is recommended.

In some ways moving to another state can give felons a fresh start. If their request to move is approved, it will be because they meet the criteria, meaning they have a sound plan going forward about their new residence, job possibilities, and family support in the new environment.

Supporting a Felon Wanting to Move to Another State

For families of felons wanting to move to another state, be honest with your loved one.  Moving can provide a new start, but they will still have to be careful to obey the law and be compliant with new probation demands.

Moving doesn’t provide an escape from what has been done in the past.  However, felons don’t have to let their conviction define or limit them.

The new state will be a new beginning and the opportunity to establish an honest life with positive support.

Help your loved one move forward by encouraging them to make the most of a new opportunity. You and they will be grateful you did.

So what do you think about this blog post?  Have you or anyone you know moved to another state with a felony conviction?  What was that like for them and were they successful?  Please tell us in the comments below.

2 thoughts on “Can a Felon Move to Another State?”

  1. I moved from New England to Florida, not on probation! But Florida changed my court order by listing me as a offender and putting on the internet without a court hearing or a sentence I lost my career and friends and family


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