CAN A DEFENDANT LEAVE THE COUNTRY WHILE ON BOND?

August 18, 2018

The ability to leave the country while on bond depends mostly on the severity of the crime.

 

If the alleged crime is severe, the judge may impose travel restrictions as a bond condition. That usually would apply to the state as well as the country.

 

If a defendant needs to leave the country while on bond, he or she would have to ask for permission from the judge. However, leaving the country would raise red flags. Therefore, the defendant or the attorney would have to convince the judge that it is important for the defendant to go. In some cases, in fact, the judge would ask defendants to surrender their passports if they are deemed flight risks.

 

If a defendant is deemed a flight risk and the crime is severe, by the way, the defendant may be denied bail altogether. The bail amount and conditions are usually set during an arraignment, which occurs within 72 hours after an arrest. One of the next steps in the process would be a preliminary examination of the evidence against the defendant. It likely would be the defendant’s first court appearance after he or she is bailed out of jail. It occurs about two weeks after the arraignment.

 

Even if permission to leave the country is granted, the defendant would still have to fulfill the obligations of attending court hearings and completing any testing requirements, such as in the case of a drunken driving charge.

 

If the defendant is working with a bail bond agency, he or she also should get permission from the bail bondsman before leaving the country. That’s because the bail bond agency has a financial stake in their clients’ cases. In addition, the people who set up the bond agreement with the agency also would not get any of their money back if defendants do not appear in court.

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