Can You Leave the Country on Probation?

Lerner & Rowe Law Group
probation travel restrictions

In many instances, probation is a second chance for those convicted of a crime. It keeps you out of jail, and allows you to begin moving on with your life. But in order to successfully complete probation, you must comply with specific Arizona probation rules you’re assigned during sentencing. These rules often include probation travel restrictions.

If you need to leave the country (or the state, for that matter), you should know what is expected of you as a probationer to avoid having your probation revoked and being arrested.

Probation Travel Restrictions in Arizona

There are three major types of probation in Arizona: 

  • Unsupervised probation
  • Supervised probation
  • Intensive probation 

Each one carries different rules, including travel restrictions. It’s important to note that your conditions of probation are often tailored to your particular case. Always consult your probation documents or contact your probation officer for the most accurate information regarding your probation requirements.

Unsupervised Probation

Unsupervised probation is the least restrictive type of probation, usually reserved for low-risk, first-time offenders convicted of a low-level felony or misdemeanor charge. 

Although those sentenced to unsupervised probation are not closely monitored, they may still be required to keep in touch with their probation officer or caseload administrator over the phone and by email to make sure they are complying with the terms of their probation.

Can You Leave the Country on Unsupervised Probation?

Probably, but you will still need to ask for permission. Your sentencing documents should detail whether or not you are subject to any probation travel restrictions, but if you know you may need to leave the country for any reason, it is worth consulting both your probation officer or the court who facilitated your sentence before solidifying any travel plans. If your probation officer or presiding judge says that you are allowed to travel internationally, be sure to get this permission in writing.

Note: You will also need to contact the consulate in the country to which you’ll be traveling to find out if your conviction status prohibits you from entering the country, or if any supporting documentation will be required when traveling.

Whenever possible, request forms to leave the state of Arizona should be submitted at least 10 business days prior to travel.

If you are denied the ability to leave the country or state lines, an Arizona criminal defense lawyer may be able to assist you in amending the conditions of your probation.

Supervised Probation

Supervised probation involves a higher level of involvement and engagement with your probation officer. There are varying levels of supervision within this type of probation depending on the severity of the conviction. 

Field and office visits will likely be required in addition to mandatory drug or alcohol testing and court-ordered activities such as community service or therapy. You may also need to pay restitution or fines to the court.

Can You Leave the Country on Supervised Probation?

Possibly, but you will need written permission from your probation officer. Supervised probation limits your flexibility to travel because of the required regular meetings with your probation officer. Also, any travel plans—especially those out of the country—can hinder your ability to attend court-ordered counseling or complete your community restitution. Requests to leave the country will likely be assessed based on your perceived risk to reoffend. 

Intensive Probation

probation travel restrictions

Intensive probation, commonly known as house arrest, is the most restrictive kind of probation reserved for those who require close supervision. Those serving intensive probation are subject to random 24/7 monitoring, often including a GPS monitoring device. 

You will likely only be allowed to leave your residence to go to work, attend school, or complete community service, with common exceptions including religious services, doctor’s appointments, court appearances, etc. Travel is otherwise extremely limited.

In Maricopa County, probationers are assigned two probation officers who make frequent visits, manage the probationer’s paychecks, and oversee a set number of community service hours each month. All of this is in addition to court-ordered counseling programs and alcohol and drug testing. 

Can You Leave the Country on Intensive Probation?

Most likely not. House arrest comes with strict probation travel restrictions due to the nature of the crime committed, the number of previous offenses, or the inability to successfully complete standard probation. 

In extreme cases, such as the need to attend a funeral for a close family member, you may be permitted to travel outside the state of Arizona or leave the country for a short period of time. However, the probation office or the court has the right to refuse most travel requests. 

Need Help Lifting Probation Travel Restrictions?

Probation over jail time is usually a welcome relief, but sometimes the court’s requirements for probation can be unnecessarily harsh. When it comes to fighting for your rights, you need the help of a qualified criminal defense lawyer. 

At Lerner and Rowe Law Group, our legal team works every day to defend those charged or convicted with a crime in Phoenix, Tucson, and across Arizona. Our case results speak for themselves. 

To get in touch with a board certified criminal law specialist near you, call us at one of the numbers listed below. You can also chat with an online representative, or submit the details of your case using our secure contact form. We offer affordable payment plans, and initial consultations are free.

The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.