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Leaving country while on probation

Austin, TX |

If I am on probation for a deferred felony, and leave the country to join my wife against rules of probation...will they come for me? This was no major crime mind you. A friend accused me of borrowing their car without permission one night. My probation is for 4 years and I cannot be apart from her any longer.

Attorney Answers 4

  1. Best answer

    If you do not comply with the terms that you agreed to under the Deferred agreement, the State CAN file a Motion to Adjudicate. Which would mean that they could go ahead and try to make you a convicted felon. It is impossible to know what they WILL do, but they might see your leaving without permission as a serious violation of the agreement you made with the Court. Then, it may not be relevant the seriousness of the crime, because you would essentially be violating a promise you made to the Court. Judge's generally do not like people making promises to them and then not following through on the commitment.

    However, there may be an alternative. You may be able to get permission from the Probation department or the Court in advance of going to visit your wife. You could hire an attorney to help you ask for this permission.

  2. As Ms. Lackey says, you may be able to get your probation officer on board to ask the judge to modify your conditions so you can go visit your wife.

    Another possible alternative is that the judge might (as in maybe not likely, but possibly) agree to terminate your probation early. Some judges do this more often than others, and there's absolutely no legal requirement that they even seriously consider it, but it might be worth asking about. If you got your probation terminated early, you could go anywhere you wanted to go without getting permission or worrying about getting in trouble for it. If you want to look into whether that's a realistic possibility in your case, I'd go ahead and talk to a local defense attorney who's familiar with the judge in your court and can give you a better idea as to what your odds are. Good luck.

  3. Both Ms. Lackey and Ms. Foley are correct. Just to add, if you wanted to terminate your probation early, you of course would first need to complete all of the terms of your probation. That is, you would need to sinish your community service hours, pay your fines and complete whatever other terms you agreed to when you plead. Make your intentions to your PO now so that he/she can 1) tell you if its something they will be agreeable to and 2) prehaps put you on a plan to get it done quickly. Next, talk to your attorney about filing a motion to terminate early. Some judges do require that you complete a minimum amount of time before they'll allow you to terminate early, but an attorney will be able to tell you what your judge will expect.

    I would advise that you do not leave the country without proper permission. Theres a pretty good chance you'll have a warrant waiting for you when you come back, and a very high likelihood that you will be ajudcated.

    No attorney-client relationship is established by this posting. The information provided by the this attorney on this website is not legal advice and visitors are encouraged to consult with an attorney before making any decisions regarding their legal issue.

  4. Most of the time the rules of probation say that you cannot leave the county without permission or the state without posting a bond to cover the costs of extradition.

    Perhaps the court would allow you to leave if you post a bond. Perhaps the court would allow you to report by mail. There are all kinds of options open to the court and you should explore all those options before rashly leaving the country.

    Start by talking to your probation officer. If that goes nowhere, hire an attorney to see if it can be done. The judges in Austin by and large are very reasonable and open to fair options if they address the goals of probation.

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