Can I move out if I’m 18 and on probation?

DETAILS

In May 2011 I was put on the FINS program and probation I was 17 in October 2011 I turned 18 I now have a court date on January 24, 2012 i plan on still attending this court date but I want to know if I can move out on my own and im afraid to ask my P.O. Any questions because she will go and tell my “guardians” even though im 18 and i will get into more trouble I live in Arkansas if that helps

ANSWER

The answer to your question lies in the wording of the terms and conditions of your probation. The terms and conditions of your probation constitute a contract of sorts between you and the government of Arkansas. When you were put on the FINS program, you and your guardian signed a document that listed all of your responsibilities as a probationer on the program. You, or your guardian, were given a copy of those terms and conditions.

A near universal requirement of any person on probation is to maintain a residence and keep the probation officer informed as to any residence changes. The reason for this is simple: They want to know where to find you at all times because you are on probation and you are subject to their rules. Also, probation needs to know where to send documents regarding your case or your probation.

So, just because you are 18 doesn’t mean you can just move out. I’m afraid that would constitute a violation of your probation and would be grounds to file a criminal complaint against you for violating the terms and conditions of your probation.

The better thing to do would be to; 1) consult the terms and conditions of your probation to see what you are required to report to the P.O. (if you need another copy, ask your PO to make you another copy), 2) after figuring out what notice you have to give to the P.O., give that proper notice if you really want to move, 3) Discuss your intent to move with your P.O. Your “guardians” will find out if you just leave one day anyway, right? Further, you don’t want your “guardians” to gang up on you and start reporting violations to your P.O. because they are upset.

I’m sorry, I don’t know you better, but, if I did, I would tell you that it is tough on your own and a decision to move out is a very big one and shouldn’t be made in anger or haste. It is even harder when you have to comply with probation and live on your own. I would say, since January 24 is right around the corner, it may be best to put the probation behind you before undertaking a life-changing event like moving out on your own.