If you want to get in and out of our country, you are going to need a valid passport. But if you have been convicted of a potentially serious crime, such as a felony, you might actually be denied the right to use your passport. As most people do not actually have serious criminal convictions on their records, this is generally not a problem. But what about more common violations, such as driving under the influence (DUI) charges and convictions? Can just one of those bar you from crossing international borders?
For the most part, the answer is no. DUI laws and convictions, even when regarding felonies, don’t have any language that explicitly bars the offender from using their passport. That doesn’t mean that it can’t happen, however. Depending on the circumstances of your arrest, the judge can still issue a court order that would retract your passport rights, usually for an amount of time equal to a license revocation or suspension. You can also be barred from getting your passport if:
- You are considered to be a flight risk (air travel only)
- You are facing a felony-related subpoena or summons
- Your probation or parole requires you to stay within the country
There are Two Sides to Every Border
If you have a DUI conviction on your criminal record, you need to be aware that the United States government is not the only party concerned about your passport. The country you are trying to enter has the right to approve or deny entry according to their own set of regulations. A common example is our neighbors to the north, Canada. They have pretty strict passport and international travel laws and have been known to stop people from entering their territory due a criminal conviction of any kind, including DUIs.
If you need to travel outside of the country but aren’t sure if a DUI conviction is going to create trouble for you, contact a Savannah DUI attorney from The Schneider Law Firm today. We can help you assess your situation and legal rights ahead of time, saving you possible travel-related headaches in the future. Call 912-385-0854 now to schedule your initial and confidential consultation.