Being arrested can derail even the dreamiest of vacations, leaving the accused wondering if they still have the right to head out on vacay despite their legal woes. The short answer is yes. If you’re out on bond (unless you’re specifically prohibited from leaving the area as a condition of your release), then you are free to move about as you usually would. However, if you have an upcoming pretrial conference or other court appearance, you will have to be back in time for it or risk forfeiting your freedom.
Being Released Versus Being Free
Just because you’re out on bail doesn’t mean you are free to do what you want. Technically, you are not really free. You are no longer in custody, but the conditions of your release still limit your freedom. The prosecution in your case thinks they can convince jurors of your guilt, and a judge is obligated to take steps to prevent you from absconding while also respecting your right to receive fair and reasonable bail. This is where restrictions on your movement come into play.
Limits on Movement
Before you were arrested, you were free to go wherever you want, but the court can impose restrictions on your movement after your arrest. For example, the court can mandate that you stay within the county, the state, or the country. In some instances, you may be confined to your home with an electronic monitoring device. Restrictions like these can make taking a vacation difficult at best or, in a worst-case scenario, impossible.
Factors To Consider When Traveling After Conditional Release
While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to whether or not traveling after release on bond is possible, here are some factors to take into consideration:
- The seriousness of the crime for which you are accused. If you are charged with a violent or serious offense, chances are good that you will not be allowed to travel, at least not very far.
- Your past criminal history. Do you have a lengthy history of run-ins with the law? An active criminal past increases the chances of travel restrictions as a condition of your release.
- Your vacation destination. Some destinations are more questionable than others. For instance, a defendant accused of importing drugs might not be allowed to go to Mexico, but a trip to the beach one state over might be okay.
- Your reputation. Do you have a good standing in the community? Some defendants who are known to be good, upstanding citizens are sometimes afforded more leeway than those who are in and out of jail regularly.
The bottom line is that each situation is unique. As a rule of thumb, it’s always wise to check in with your bail bondsman to make sure that he is aware of your travel plans. Your local Westmoreland County, PA bondsman is also a good source to determine if a vacation is in the cards for you, based on the conditions of your release.
See the professionals at Freedom Fast Bail Bonds for fast, personal bail bonds services in Allegheny County, PA, and the surrounding areas.