The court will frequently tell the defendant that they must not leave the state or country while they are out on bond — if they do so, they may be arrested. Even if the court does not outright state that the defendant isn’t supposed to leave the country, the defendant should still assume that they aren’t supposed to unless they have it otherwise specified. Nevertheless, there are situations in which you might need to leave the state or country:
• A close family member may be ill. You may need to go and visit them while they are sick, especially if the illness is fatal.
• A close family member may have passed on. You may need to leave the state or country to attend their funeral.
• You may require medical treatment. There are many medical treatments that need to be done at specialized hospitals.
• You may need to deal with immigration issues. This could require that you return to your home country.
If you need to leave the state or country, you can call the bonding office and let them know. The bonding office will work with the court to determine whether or not you should be granted permission to leave. When you’re out on a bail bond, you need to notify your bail bondsman in addition to the court system that you’re going to be leaving. You should always get official notice from the courts that you are allowed to be out of the area on bond, and you should keep your paperwork with you at all times.
If you fail to let the court system know that you will be leaving the state or country, not only will the bond be forfeited but you can also be arrested. If you’re caught out of state, you’ll be arrested and returned. If you’re in another country, you will very likely be arrested upon re-entry to America rather than in the other country. Either way, you won’t be able to get your bond money back. If you used a bondsman, you will need to pay them the full bond amount, as they will have guaranteed your bond for the full amount. Anyone that you used to guarantee your bond will also be considered liable for the full price.
The court reserves the right to deny any requests to leave the state or country, especially if you’re considered to be a flight risk. Even if you aren’t a flight risk, if your request appears frivolous, it’s likely that it will be denied. A vacation request, for instance, is very unlikely to be approved, even if you’ve already spent a great deal of money on the vacation plans. Likewise, a wedding or other similar event is not likely to be approved. Only matters of critical importance, such as those involving life and death, will generally be considered for an exemption. Always consult with your bail bondsman and the bonding office before you travel.