If I am a suspect in a crime, am I allowed to leave the state?

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If I am a suspect in a crime, am I allowed to leave the state?

I am 19 and I have planned on moving out of state. About 2wo weeks ago my parents went away for a week and while they were gone my house was broken into. The police think that I was involved in someway. The police stated that I am a suspect. I have a job and apartment lined up. Can I still move?

Asked on March 30, 2012 under Criminal Law, Rhode Island

Answers:

Gerard Donley / Donley Law Office

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The answer depends upon when you lined up the job and the apartment.  If your plans to move predated the alleged crime, and you can prove it with documents relating to your new apartment or your new job, the likelihood that a "flight as a consciousness of guilt" argument being a problem is very slight.   You are free to move at your pleasure.  In fact, one could argue that the police suspecting you of the crime made you living at home with your parents that much more untenable.  What do your parents think?    If they knew about your plans to move before the B&E, then they are your best witnesses.

 

Richard Southard / Law Office of Richard Southard

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Legally you are free to come and go as you please.  However, if you are ever arrested in connection with this matter and it goes to trial, the DA may be permitted to argue to the jury that your leaving was consciousness of your guilt.


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