What If You’re Arrested and Have an Out-of-State Warrant?

  • Post last modified:July 9, 2024

In 1937, California adopted the Uniform Criminal Extradition Act (UCEA). Since then, the state has been obligated to surrender wanted individuals to other states. Later, Congress clarified the circumstances that may warrant extradition and the requirements.

You could face extradition if you are arrested with a warrant against you in another state. However, this might not happen if you seek the services of a Long Beach criminal justice attorney.

How Can I Protect My Rights After the Arrest?

Being arrested for an out-of-state offense might sound scary and unpredictable. However, your rights as an accused person do not change. You still have the right to refuse to speak to the arresting officer. It also doesn’t rob you of the privilege of having a warrants lawyer in Long Beach, CA, present during questioning.

You might be asked questions that can implicate you in the absence of your attorney. This explains why having a skilled legal representative from the onset is pivotal. Having an attorney’s assistance is actually a fundamental constitutional right.

What Happens After an Arrest for an Out-of-State Crime?

If you are arrested and found to be having a warrant of arrest in another state, you will be held until the other state issues a Governor’s warrant. You might wait several weeks before finding out whether you will be extradited or not.

Your attorney might convince the prosecution to let you out on bond, depending on your situation. The severity of the offense determines whether the DA agrees to such requests. Serious felonies like murder and other high crimes are rarely considered.

What Happens at an Extradition Hearing in California?

An extradition hearing is usually held to determine whether you can be lawfully transferred to another state for criminal proceedings. In the court hearing, the judge will seek to establish whether:

  • You are the person believed to have committed a particular crime
  • The charges against you are valid

A judge could grant an extradition warrant if they determine that:

  • You are a proper target for extradition
  • The charges are appropriate

Ensure that you work with a Long Beach warrants attorney for guidance on preparing for your extradition hearing.

What Are My Options as a Defendant Facing Extradition in California?

Defendants arrested for crimes allegedly committed in another state have several options. You can either:

  • Fight the extradition
  • Deny the allegations
  • Waive the extradition

If you decide to fight or deny the allegations, you might need proof showing that:

  • You are not the person that committed the offense
  • The charges against you are improper or untrue

And if you are not ready to fight or deny the criminal allegations, waiving the extradition would be an excellent alternative. This means that you voluntarily return to the state you have pending charges.

Does the Time Spent in Custody Impact the Case?

When you waive extradition, California might not release you to go back to the state of the alleged crime by yourself. Instead, you will remain in custody for up to 30 days as you wait for the other state to pick you up. Luckily, each day spent held up could be credited towards the offense you will be charged with.

Defendants choosing to fight or deny grounds for extradition can be picked within 90 days. But whether the other state picks you after five days or on day 89, the waiting period might not impact the offense.

Should I Fight Extradition or Just Go Back?

The decision on whether to fight or waive the extradition hearing is very challenging to make. Sometimes, people opt for a waiver because the days spent held up can be considered in the event of a conviction.

However, it is worth noting that fighting and losing don’t always end with the worst possible outcome. If the state that wants you fails to pick you up within the required period, the judge might set you free from the warrant of arrest on your name. Consult with a Long Beach warrants attorney for guidance on the most favorable alternative for your situation.

What Do States Consider Before Picking a Defendant in Another State?

Not every person arrested with an out-of-state warrant ends up as a fugitive in the other state. States consider several things before deciding to come for you. Some of the considerations include:

  • The costs involved in taking you from California to the wanting state
  • The availability of police assets or guards
  • County jail overcrowding
  • How far California is from the wanting state
  • The seriousness of the alleged offense

Generally, most states pursue out-of-state defendants when it is worth the time and resources. For instance, they might not come for you if you are more than 500 miles away to charge you for a misdemeanor. Similarly, non-violent and “wobbler” low-level offenses might not be worth the pursuit.

What Assistance Can I Get From a Warrants Attorney

An out-of-state warrant might be the beginning of a lengthy process. It can also predispose you to several long-term consequences. An attorney in Long Beach can:

  • Help you resolve the issue behind your warrant
  • Help you decide whether a waiver is the best alternative
  • Argue for reduced bail
  • Push for you to be released from jail early in the process
  • Defend you against additional local charges
  • Fight extradition and dispute the charges
  • Explain your options at every stage
  • Help you manage the extradition

Experienced Attorneys Defending Clients Against Criminal Charges

An arrest warrant outside California can come with both local and non-local consequences. And without the assistance of an experienced legal expert, the odds might be against you. You might end up in jail in unfamiliar territories, and your family might be affected too.

You deserve a criminal defense attorney who has handled warrant cases for a long time. Attorney Jerry Nicholson is aggressive and can provide aggressive representation. You could also benefit from sound legal advice to help you make better decisions. Call the Law Offices of Jerry Nicholson today for better outcomes.