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International Travel While on Pretrial Release

Posted by John Rogers | Feb 26, 2021

When a defendant obtains pretrial release in a federal criminal case, then U.S. Pretrial Services will supervise them. The purpose of pretrial services is to ensure the defendant does not commit any new offense, is abiding by the terms of their release and does not flee the jurisdiction.

When a defendant is granted bail, the U.S. Magistrate Judge imposes terms and conditions that generally preclude travel. For instance, the bond order may restrict a person within a certain district. Any request to travel outside their particular district must be approved by pretrial services. Furthermore, a provision in the bond order usually precludes foreign travel unless approved by the Court.

Due to policy reasons, pretrial services takes no position on international travel. The process entails filing a request to the judge asking to travel to another country. The reasons can be business-related, family vacations, or a personal desire for travel.

The government may object to a defendant's request for travel. Alternatively, the government may lodge no objection if the defendant executes additional bond conditions. For instance, the defendant may need to temporarily deed their property to the court, or pay cash, as an assurance the defendant will return. Once a defendant returns to the United States, the property or cash will be returned to the defendant.

There is no requirement that the government agrees to international travel. The decision to release a defendant's passport and allow international travel is entirely for the judge to decide. The judge will usually consider the following factors prior to making a ruling:

  • Prior criminal history;
  • The severity of the current offense;
  • Whether the U.S. has an extradition treaty agreement with the foreign country.

If you are under federal investigation or have been charged with a federal offense, then call us to speak with an experienced federal criminal defense attorney. Contact us today to schedule a free confidential consultation.

About the Author

John Rogers

*State Bar Board Certified Specialist in Criminal Law *Top 40 Under 40 by the National Trial Lawyers Association *Selected “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers Magazine *Federal Criminal Defense Representation Nationwide *Personalized Attention & 24/7 Accessibility


Orange County federal crimes lawyer John Rogers is committed to providing exceptional representation all throughout California federal courts.

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