Athletes with Criminal Records… “Sorry Coach, I won’t be able to travel with the team”

Apr 13, 2021

Athletes with Criminal Records present a real problem; after-all professional athletes need to be able to cross borders to play. Whether regular season, play-offs, or exhibition events an inability to travel can at a minimum hamper their value to a team. In the worse case scenario the inability to travel can result in a premature end to a promising career.

We’re living in a fast news world. A world of smart photo cameras and gossip press paid tip lines. Situations that used to be quietly dealt with are now front-page news and trending on Twitter. Therefore today’s law enforcement is under zero tolerance pressure to lay charges, even if the basis of the claim is somewhat dubious. As a result, professional athletes are under strict orders to avoid any questionable activity. The smallest deviance from the rules may bring down the wrath of criminal charges. However even with care and attention, situations will inevitably still occur where criminal charges are brought.

Athletes with Criminal Records and International Borders

Even though bail may be granted and the athlete is free, the issue of being able to cross international border persists. At this point expert criminal defence lawyers and expert immigration advice should be consulted. If the matter is dealt with only from a criminal defence view, the athlete may be advised to take a lesser plea to “have it dealt with”. This approach may also be promoted by publicists who are looking only at the short-term impact of the situation. Unfortunately a guilty plea, even on a lesser charge, may result in an ability to travel abroad. This is why it is critical for both elements to be considered when making decisions the best course of action.

athletes with criminal records

Criminal records and international travel are not natural bedfellows…

Athletes with Existing Criminal Records

What advice for those Athletes who already have criminal convictions? Immigration advisors can advise on whether the athlete can apply for some type of special permission to enter a particular country. It is critical to apply for such permission long BEFORE a border crossing is attempted. Too often, athletes and celebrities become complacent about border crossings. This might be because they already enjoy unhampered movement within their country; or perhaps they are used to VIP service because they “fly private”. They either forget about the situation or believe helpful officials will just let them in at the border. As entertainer Chris Brown found out, this complacency can prove VERY expensive for everyone involved.

We can help

At Lesperance and Associates we can help you get the expert advice that you need. If you are criminally charged or already have a conviction on your record call us immediately. We can very quickly get you the expert advice you need, so that you don’t have to make that call and say “Sorry Coach, I won’t be able to travel with the team”.

Contact us today.