Will a criminal record stymie your travel plans?
While sitting down to plan a trip abroad is undoubtedly a very exciting proposition, it also stands to be a lot of work. That’s because you have to make sure you have a host of items taken care of ahead of time, including plane tickets, hotel reservations, car rentals, tour plans, currency exchanges, vaccinations and travel-related shopping trips to name only a few.
Furthermore, it will be necessary to ensure that all of the necessary travel documents are in place, starting, of course, with a U.S. passport. However, this laborious task can become all the more so if you have questions about your eligibility to secure a passport thanks to a criminal record.
The good news is that having a criminal record — misdemeanors or even felonies — generally won’t preclude you from securing a passport. Indeed, this is largely because a passport serves as nothing more than proof that you are a resident of the U.S, saying nothing about your character fitness or propensity for criminal activity.
There are certain situations, however, in which a passport application will be denied by federal officials, including:
- The applicant has been convicted of international drug trafficking.
- The applicant is named in a federal arrest warrant.
- The applicant is named in a federal felony-related subpoena.
- The applicant is prohibited by court order or the conditions of their parole/probation from leaving the country.
It’s also important to understand that those in possession of a valid U.S. passport can also see it revoked if they fall under any of these categories.
Accordingly, those convicted of less serious offenses like driving under the influence will more than likely encounter little difficulty in securing a passport.
Nevertheless, they should be aware of any possible restrictions set forth by the country to which they plan to travel. For instance, those with a DUI on their criminal record may encounter difficulty entering Canada.
Whether you are under investigation, have been formally charged or would simply like to learn more about clearing your criminal record, please consider speaking with an experienced legal professional as soon as possible.