People who are facing felony charges know that being convicted of those charges can come with serious consequences. Some people might not realize that one of the consequences can affect their ability to travel internationally. This is especially true for people who have convictions for drug charges since some drug charges mean an automatic denial of a passport.
There are several reasons why a passport application can be denied. Some reasons are automatic. A person who is convicted of an international drug trafficking charge can't get a passport. If you are on parole or probation and forbidden from traveling abroad, your passport application will be denied. The same is true if you have been ordered by a court to not travel internationally.
The U.S. Secretary of State can deny a passport application for any compelling reason. It is important for anyone with a felony conviction to understand that it might be difficult to get a passport. With that in mind, people with felony convictions should make sure that they obtain a passport prior to making travel plans and reservations.
Another issue that some people with felony convictions might face is that some countries won't allow anyone with a criminal history into the country. While a passport identifies you as an American citizen, it doesn't guarantee you entry into other countries. Canada, for example, won't allow anyone with a felony on their record to enter.
When you are facing a felony charge, you should work to understand how a conviction would affect your life. It is important to think of every aspect of your life instead of only the basics like finances and freedom.
Source: Travel Insurance Review, "International Laws: Can a Convicted Felon Travel Outside the US?," Damian Tysdal, accessed May. 07, 2015