Sometimes when someone is arrested and released on bail, they have travel plans in the not-too-distant future, thus “can I travel while out on bail bonds?” is a common question we receive. The concern is that there’s a stigma against traveling while out on bail, and that anyone who travels may likely be trying to skip bail and never come back. The reality is that travel restrictions related to being out on bail can vary between cases and charges.
If you’re out on bail and plan to travel to another state, the first thing you should do is ask your bail bondsman and/or attorney. Usually, interstate travel is permitted provided that the defendant was not released on a federal bond. A federal bond is necessary when someone is accused of a federal crime (think human trafficking, trafficking drugs across state lines, etc.). When someone is out on a federal bond, their travel is usually restricted to a very specific area within their state. It is sometimes possible to get a temporary exemption from a judge while out on federal bail bonds, though the request will need to go through a federal bail bondsman or your attorney.
Another group of people who may find their travel plans in peril are those who have previously missed court dates, have a history of skipping bail, or are otherwise deemed to be a flight risk. Sometimes, in order for a judge to set bail, they will require that the defendant hand over their passport to the court and will prohibit them from leaving the state. Limits like this are usually set when someone is being charged with a very serious crime with potentially heavy penalties.
For those who have been released from local our county jails, out of state travel shouldn’t be an issue. Just to make sure, you should always notify your bail bonds company and attorney (if you have one) and get an OK from them.