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Can I Take a Planned Vacation if I’m Out on Bail?

/ Mike Tayler

Vacation when on bail

Until they’ve had their day in court a person who has been arrested has done nothing wrong as far as the law is concerned. So keeping them locked up under such circumstances is just not right. And that’s where bail bonds come in. Bail allows the accused to resume their normal life while awaiting trial. But does that mean you can do whatever you like if you’re out on bail? What if, for instance, you had an international vacation already planned and paid for before you were arrested? Would you be allowed to take that vacation while on bail?

Being Released Isn’t Necessarily the Same as Being Free

People have a lot of questions about bail and they harbor an equal number misconceptions as well. One of those is that the person out on bail is “free”. The fact is, that while the person out on bail or bond is no longer in custody and is technically “innocent”, they are not exactly “free”.

Whereas before their arrest they were able to go wherever they wanted whenever they wanted it’s likely that they now have travel restrictions placed on them. They may even be restricted to staying within Jefferson County, Arapahoe County or Denver County . This can make things tricky for defendants who have already booked and paid for an expensive overseas vacation.

Traveling While Out no Bail

Why would a person who is presumed innocent and technically completely free of guilt as far as the law is concerned have their movements restricted? Why couldn’t you just hop on a plane and take that vacation you planned months ago?

Restrictions are placed on people released on bail because, while they are innocent in the eyes of the law, they’re also suspected of being guilty. Therefore, it’s in the interest of the state and the victims that the suspect not flee before they are called to answer the charges against them. It’s a fine line the system walks. That’s for sure. But both the release and the restrictions are done for good reasons.

So If I’m Out on Bail Can I Take That Vacation?

There is no single answer you can apply to all situations. It depends on a whole host of factors including:

  • Your criminal history (if any) - If you have a long history of arrests and convictions it’s highly unlikely the court will allow you to leave the county, never mind the state or country.
  • The crime you’re charged with - The more serious the crime the less likely you’ll be allowed to travel. Conversely, the less serious the crime the more likely you’ll be allowed some travel leeway.
  • The planned destination - If you are charged with selling drugs and want to take a trip to Columbia permission will probably be denied. If, however, you have been charged with driving to endanger and plan to take the family to EuroDisney it might be allowed.
  • Your community standing - Like it or not some people are given more leeway than others. If you own a company that is a major employer in town and you have a record of being an upstanding member of the community you’ll likely be treated more leniently than most other people. As long as you’re not accused of being a serial killer or terrorist.

Does the Bondsman Decide if I Can Take My Vacation?

Ultimately the court decides on the conditions of your bail. So any request to be allowed to travel will need to be taken up with the judge not the bail bonds agent. If you have already booked and paid for a vacation your attorney can bring it up during the bail hearing and it may have an impact on the judge’s decision. If the judge is willing to entertain the idea (some simply won’t), they will probably ask a number of questions such as:

  • Where are you planning to go?
  • Are you going alone or with family members?
  • Have you ever traveled to this place before?
  • Do you have any ties to the planned destination?
  • How long will you be gone?

If you are granted the right to go on your vacation the judge may add conditions. You may, for instance, be required to check in with your bail bonding agent once a day. Or you may be required to notify the court when you arrive at your destination or change hotels. Or the court may put no restrictions on you. Such things are typically decided on a case by case basis.

In reality if the judge has said you can go ahead with your trip to EuroDisney there isn’t a lot the court can do to keep tabs on you, so any restrictions will likely be minimal. The court may however, make clear that this is a one-time exception they are allowing. So once you return, that’s it. No more traveling until you’ve appeared in court to face the charges against you.

It’s All About the Circumstances

Finally, if you appear at your bail hearing and ask the court to allow you to take a trip to Paris that you haven’t booked or paid for yet you’re likely to be met with raised eyebrows from the bench and a firm “request denied”. Keep in mind too that if the charges against you are sufficiently serious - manslaughter or something of the like - your chances of getting a photo with EuroMickey are slim and none, whether you’ve already paid for your trip or not.

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Tayler Made Bail Bonding is available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.

(303) 623-0399
email@taylermadebailbonding.com
3900 South Federal Blvd
Englewood, CO 80110