Any person who is charged with or commits a crime in one state and then
leaves to another state is a “fugitive from justice” and is
subject to Extradition, regardless of the person's intent, reason
or motive for leaving. That person does not need to have actual knowledge
of the charges. Extradition (Interstate Extradition) refers to the surrender
of a wanted fugitive by one state to another.
Extradition comes into play when a suspect is arrested on a “fugitive
warrant” issued by the state (the “demanding state”)
seeking to extradite him. The prosecutor in the location where the suspect
is found ( the “asylum state”) will then file a “fugitive
complaint” against the suspect. The suspect will be taken to court
several days after being arrested where he will be arraigned. At the arraignment
the suspect will be officially informed of the reason for his arrest and
asked if he wishes to
waive his Extradition. This is a critical juncture in the Extradition proceedings.
If the suspect fights his Extradition, an identity hearing will be calendared
in 10 days and the local prosecutor will prepare the necessary extradition
papers which are submitted to the Demanding State's Governor. At that
time the suspect will post bail or remain in custody in the asylum state
pending the identity hearing and the issuance of the Governor's warrant.
If the suspect waives his Extradition then he may be allowed to post bail
and return to the state that issued the warrant. If bail is not allowed
by the court then the suspect will wait for law enforcement agents to
pick him up and transport him back to the demanding state where the crime
allegedly occurred. The suspect will likely wait two to four weeks before
he is picked up.
If you or someone you know is arrested on a fugitive warrant, it is critical
to consult with an experienced Extradition lawyer immediately to learn
what legal options are available to you. That attorney should also try
to convince the judge to reduce the bail or release the person without
posting bail (OR/ Own Recognizance) so that the person can quickly return
to the demanding state where he was wanted.
For additional information on Extradition see
“Understanding California's Extradition Laws.”