Peter Blair | March 29, 2022 | Criminal Defense
Being arrested on an out-of-state warrant is something no one looks forward to. If a person is arrested or is facing the possibility of being arrested in one state for a warrant from another state, one might wonder what happens next. The jurisdiction (city or county) where the arrest occurred will typically hold that person in custody at their local jail while awaiting extradition proceedings.
While waiting for extradition, a person may be eligible for or entitled to release on bail. This typically depends on the charges and the conditions put in place at the time of the signing of that original warrant. The arresting jurisdiction will contact the agency/state that issued the warrant to advise them to pick up or claim the individual arrested. Many times, if you happen to have a warrant that is a misdemeanor or low-level offense, the other state may choose not to extradite you because of the cost involved. If the crime is a felony, then you will almost certainly be extradited if you are not eligible to post bond.
If you are not extradited, the best thing to do is to contact an attorney to discuss your situation. If you do not turn yourself in, you could face possible additional charges or be deemed as a flight risk. In this circumstance, the judge, as well as the prosecutor, might be less forgiving in how your case is handled.
Those who are cooperative with the police are more likely to be released, generally speaking. An attorney can assist you in contacting the issuing agency to verify the accuracy of the warrant. They can also determine if there is any possibility or legal basis to have the warrant withdrawn.
Do They Even Have Jurisdiction?
State jurisdiction simply means that officers have the authority to enforce the law in that state. If a crime was allegedly committed in the state, the authorities there can charge you and investigate that crime. However, any officer can arrest someone for an out-of-state warrant, or bench warrant, from another state jurisdiction. They will then work together to extradite the person back to the place where the crime occurred. The actual prosecution (trial and court hearings) would take place where the crime allegedly took place.
It could take multiple weeks to begin extradition depending on the location, time of year, and various other factors. The key is to get the ball rolling as soon as possible. If extradition can be avoided, it must be argued for by an attorney in the jurisdiction where the out-of-state arrest occurred. Then an attorney from the issuing state (of the original warrant) must fight the case in the local jurisdiction.
What Kinds of Warrants Are There?
There are a few different kinds of warrants that might be issued. Regardless of the type, any out-of-state jurisdiction has the authority to arrest a person on that warrant.
- Bench warrant
- Felony warrant
- Misdemeanor warrant
A bench warrant can be issued for someone who misses a mandatory court appearance. Failures to appear are governed by Penal Code Section 1320. If you fail to appear in court, you face serious consequences, including the issuance of a bench warrant. There are times an attorney can file a motion to request that the warrant be set aside if the failure to appear was unintentional, such as if the person fell ill and was in the hospital.
Can an Attorney Help?
Whether or not a failure to appear is excusable depends on the facts of the case. Once arrested on the warrant, it can no longer be set aside.
Facing an out-of-state warrant for arrest can be a complicated, daunting scenario. However, an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you with this situation and go over all of your options. It is important that you promptly reach out to an attorney if you are in this circumstance as it could mean the difference between spending time in jail and remaining comfortably at home.