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Can a Felon Travel to Cabo San Lucas?

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Many felons can recall having the desire to travel back when life was different and simpler, before their felony conviction.

They may have dreamed of traveling to another country before their conviction, and for some this may have been a reality.

This blog post will address the question of whether a felon can travel to Cabo San Lucas.

  • Travel Restrictions
  • Why Cabo San Lucas?
  • Entering Mexico
  • Traveling to Cabo
  • Encouraging a Felon to Travel to Cabo


Travel Restrictions

Upon release, felons must complete the terms of their sentence, including probation.

During the probation period, felons are restricted from leaving the district in which they reside without permission from their probation officer.

Of course, travel outside the U.S. is out of the question until the conditions of probation have been satisfied entirely.

Once this is accomplished, travel beyond the U.S. border is possible.

They must obtain a passport allowing international travel.  Felons are able to obtain a passport.

Being convicted of drug trafficking or a crime of treason against the U.S. may prevent felons from being able to obtain a passport, as well as for anyone owing at least a certain amount of child support.

Having current legal charges pending can also prevent having a passport.  This is because leaving the country will be interpreted as an unlawful attempt to avoid prosecution, which is itself a federal crime.

Why Cabo San Lucas?

Felons are people too and may want to visit a wonderful travel spot with their family.  In fact, during earlier, more peaceful times, they may have gone to Cabo with their family.

Cabo San Lucas is a village located in Mexico at the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula with the Pacific Ocean on the west and the Sea of Cortez on the east.

It is known as one of the best tourist spots in Mexico.  This area is in one of the oldest, longest inhabited parts of the world.  It is easy to get to from California.

Cabo is in a tropical location with over 300 days of sunshine annually.  There are miles of sandy, white beaches.  Visitors can explore caves, view huge rock formations, and swim and snorkel in clear, warm water all year.

Entering Mexico

Current regulations state that in order to enter Mexico, a passport is required.

Many felons have served a long prison sentence.  For those who were free prior to 2004 and recall entering Mexico legally without a passport, their memory serves them correctly.

The events of 9/11 signaled a major change in relationships between the U.S. and other countries.

In an effort to strengthen border security and facilitate entry to this country for U.S. citizens and legitimate foreign visitors, the U.S. instituted the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.

With this, all citizens of the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Bermuda are required to present a passport or other acceptable document to verify their identity and nationality to enter or leave the U.S. from within the Western Hemisphere.

Traveling to Cabo

Felons can travel to Cabo by road or by sea.

For those driving into Mexico, a valid passport is necessary for entry even though documents may not be checked by border personnel upon entry.

It is still essential to have that passport because there are frequently immigration checkpoints set up at intervals along the roads in Mexico to maintain vehicle and document inspections.

At these areas, valid travel documents and an entry permit is required, which can be obtained at immigration checkpoints along the road.

When traveling to Mexico on a closed loop cruise, technically a passport is not required.  A closed loop cruise is one which originates from and terminates in the same American port city.

However, if a cruise stops in a foreign port either as part of the itinerary or because of an emergency, officials in that foreign port typically ask to see passengers’ passports.  It would become a potential legal issue for felons not to have a passport with them.

If felons have a valid passport in their possession upon entering Mexico, their criminal record will not be an issue.  Border officials in Mexico do not have access to U.S. criminal databases.

Those who do not have a passport can be detained, often resulting in missed flights or other return arrangements.

This is especially troublesome for felons who can expect legal problems if they are held for such a reason.

Being able to enter Mexico may not be problematic, but once detained, the issue of felons’ criminal history can play a factor in their being held, which may necessitate legal counsel.

Of course it is important for anyone visiting Cabo to stay out of trouble and avoid legal problems.   This is especially true for felons.

Supporting a Felon Traveling to Cabo

Families of felons who visit Cabo can be helpful to those felons by encouraging them to travel outside the country for a sense of peace and relaxation.

A trip to Cabo can also be a great opportunity to re-connect with their family.

Once the decision has been made to travel to Cabo, be supportive of their making the trip.

It is important to remind them that as a traveler to a foreign country, just being there as an American will bring them under more scrutiny.

Remind them of their commitment to live an honest life and how legal difficulties while in Cabo will only defeat their efforts to live that life and may result in their returning to prison.

Approximately 69% of those released from prison return within the first two years.  Don’t let them be one of those statistics.

So what do you think about this blog post about whether felons can travel to Cabo?  Have you or someone you know traveled to Cabo after a felony conviction?  What was that experience like?   Please tell us in the comments below.

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