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Can a Defendant Leave the State (or Country) While Out on Bail?

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August 15, 2019  |  Posted by Balboa Bail Bonds Team  |  Bail Bonds

Sometimes, you may need to leave the state or country prior to your scheduled court date, even if you’re out on bail. Perhaps the sudden illness of a loved one or a death in the family is the cause, or you require medical treatments that must be done at an out-of-state hospital.

When these situations arise, you should be aware of the process of receiving permission to leave California. If not done in the correct manner, you can face criminal penalties and exacerbate an already complicated situation.

Here at Balboa Bail Bonds, we know that life doesn’t stop when you are out on bail. If you or a loved one is out on bail and needs to leave the state or country, here is some guidance on the correct procedures to avoid violating bail agreements and court orders to remain in state.

Get Permission From the Court

If a judge has ruled that part of your bail agreement is to stay within state lines before your court date, you must seek special permission to leave. If you fail to let the court know that you will be leaving the state or country, not only will a warrant be put out for your immediate arrest, but your bond may also be forfeit. If you’re caught outside the state, you’ll be arrested and returned. If you travel to another country and violate your bail agreement, you will be arrested upon your return to the U.S.

If you violate these terms in any manner, you won’t be able to get your bail money back. If you used a bail bonds agency, you will need to pay them the full bond amount, as they will have guaranteed the full amount to the court and any violation forfeits the bond entirely. Any cosigners on the bond will also be on the hook for the full price of your bail.

The court reserves the right to deny any request to leave the state or country for any reason, but especially if the individual under bond is considered a flight risk. However, if you are not considered a flight risk, you may still have requests denied if they appear unwarranted or frivolous. For example, requests to leave the state to take a vacation or attend a wedding will likely be denied. Matters of critical importance, like those involving life-or-death circumstances, will generally be granted an exemption of travel limitations.

Always Contact Your Bondsman and Cosigner

Always consult with your bail bondsman before you travel. Even if you have not been instructed by the court to remain in the state or country, you must get permission from the bail bonds company whose services you used. It’s also recommended that you receive permission from the cosigner of the bond as well. The cosigner faces financial penalties if the bonded individual flees or misses his or her court date. Because cosigners are typically family members or close friends, and the reason for the travel request is most likely a dire situation, there’s a good chance the cosigner will be more than happy to grant you permission to leave. It is always good to make sure everyone involved in the bail bond agreement is on the same page.

Call Balboa Bail Bonds for All of Your Bail Process Needs!

One of the great things about working with an experienced bail bond agency is they can help you file your petition to leave the state or country. Our office will work with the court to determine whether you should be granted permission. This is also a great way to make sure your travel is approved by both the bail bond agency and the court. You should always get official notice from the court that you have been approved to leave the state and/or country. When traveling, it is important that you keep this approval documentation on you at all times.

Here at Balboa Bail Bonds, we know emergencies can arise, and being unable to travel because of a release agreement can make a difficult situation even worse. When you call our experienced staff, you will speak with bail bond agents who provide the best customer service in the business. We provide you with the guidance you need from the beginning of your case to the end.

Call our San Diego-based team today at (619) 760-2222 to see how we can assist you and your family. We offer fast, flexible, and affordable rates and financing.

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