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Can i leave the country wth a misdemeanor?

Miami, FL |

I was arrested for stealing $90 work of merchandise from a store on saturday. I was released 2-3 hrs later from the store with a citation notice that I will receive information to appear in court. I booked my ticket months ago to visit Jamaica for just 1 week. I am an american citizen. I have not received any information yet on a court date. My friend and I were both caught stealing the merchandise. we were listed as defendent and co defendent on the yellow paper. will we get the same court date? Can i still leave the country to viist jamaica? my friend as access to my mailbox....if i receive a letter in the mail for a court appearance i can always book a flight to come back earlier. Will the airport give me any problems when im leaving or coming back to the U.S? please help me....

Attorney Answers 3


The only way I can see an issue developing is if a warrant is issued. I suggest a good precaution would be to retain counsel, who will enter an appearance with the court. That way, all notices come to the attorney. Then, if there is a court date or notice, the attorney can inform you or even reschedule. I am assuming that you have no bond restriction.

It's well worth the cost to save the vacation, and you will then have an attorney who can attempt to minimize the damage this charge does to your future.

We do not have a client/attorney relationship until you make an appointment, we discuss your case face to face, I accept a retainer, and we explictly agree to enter into representation.

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Yes, you are free to travel. However, if you were to miss your court date and a warrant was issued, you would most likely be arrested when you return back to the US.

Make sure the person checking your mail for your court date is reliable. Or, if you retain counsel, s/he will receive your court notices as well and can file your arraignment appearance waiver.

Good Luck. Enjoy Jamaica.

Karen J Tufte

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You are free to leave and go to Jamaica. You will have no problem when you return to the US.

Both you and your friend will very likely have the same arraignment date. If you retain an attorney neither of you would have to appear at the arraignment as the attorney would be able to waive your appearance. This would allow you to travel to Jamaica without worrying about missing your court appearance and having a warrant issued for your arrest.

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