Traveling Overseas with a Felony Record

If you’ve been convicted of a felony in Florida, you can probably recall having restrictions set upon you at one point. Perhaps a judge or a court-ordered you to stay in the county or the state and to avoid travel until all of your sentencing conditions were satisfied. Assuming you’ve completed your sentence, now you may be wondering if you can travel abroad without any negative consequences from the court – a reasonable question indeed!

For starters, if you’re a convicted felon, you shouldn’t have any trouble obtaining a U.S. passport. Why? Because a passport is merely an identification document like a driver’s license. It says what country you’re a citizen of; it does not contain your criminal record information. Most convicted felons won’t have any issues obtaining a U.S. passport unless they:

  • Were convicted of drug trafficking and crossed an international border when they committed the crime;
  • Are currently subject to a felony-related subpoena or federal arrest;
  • Have been forbidden to leave the country by probation, parole, or active court order; or
  • Are currently under a supervised released program because of a felony-related drug charge.

Note: Anyone’s U.S. passport application can be denied if they are in arrears $2,500 or more in child support.

Do Your Research Before Booking Tickets

Even if you have no trouble obtaining a U.S. passport with a felony on your record, that doesn’t mean the country you wish to travel to will let you enter. Canada, for example, is one country that frowns heavily upon DUIs, even misdemeanor DUIs. If a traveler had a DUI on their record, more than likely Canada would not let them enter the country. So, it’s important to do your research with the U.S. Department of State before you book your plane tickets. Some countries refuse to issue travelers visas if they have felony convictions on their records.

Outstanding Warrants & Traveling Abroad

Are you a U.S. citizen with a felony record who wants to travel abroad? If so, you should not have any issues traveling outside the U.S. (providing the country lets you in), even though you have a criminal record. However, if you currently have an outstanding warrant for your arrest for a serious crime, such as a felony, you should not try to leave the U.S. If you do, it could appear as if you’re evading arrest and you can face serious ramifications.

If you need legal advice, contact my office at (561) 475-2752 today.


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