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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27044
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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I need to know all about PA extradition laws and when someone

Customer Question

I need to know all about PA extradition laws and when someone being help in PA for out of state warrant will be released. It is my understanding that the other state has 10 days to reply if they will extradite and 30 days to get them. Is this true and does this time start from the date of the arrest? Aloso if a waiver is signed starting you are that person does it reset the time?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 6 years ago.

The time starts running from when the waiver is signed. (or when the record is formally made in court that he is willing to return to the wanting state). It does not start running from the moment of his arrest on the out of state fugitive warrant. The 30 day window of opportunity is what's in the Uniform Extradition Act, but states enact their own laws and can make this more restrictive. They can hold a defendant for as long as is reasonable, and because of the Act, anything less than 30 days is going to be seen as reasonable.

Defendants awaiting extradition can sometimes fall into a time warp, which is why the person in jail ought to have a lawyer (and likely does have a public defender assigned). If the time runs on past the 30 days and the delay does start looking unreasonable the remedy would be for the defense lawyer to petition for a writ of habeas corpus. That's an emergency provision which brings the defendant before the court and requires the state to show cause why he's still being held or, if they cannot, to release him.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

What if the state doesn't reply in in to days after signing the waiver? Don't they have to reply with 10 days? What would need filed if the 10 days passes with no reply from the other state?

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 6 years ago.

As I've already said, a state can hold the defendant for "whatever time is reasonable." Obviously, if the wanting state sends word that they are not going to extradite, then the person should be promptly released if there's also no Pennsylvania matter holding the person in jail.

The only remedy would be the writ of habeas corpus. You bring the defendant before the judge so that the prosecutor explains the delay. The Uniform Extradition Act only gives guidelines. States are free to follow their own. Sometimes, you can wind up delaying the extradition by bringing the writ prematurely, because basically, you're asking the judge to calendar a hearing on why he's still being held. That usually means an adjournment for lawyers to file papers and prepare arguments.

Again, what you want is to make sure this defendant has a lawyer assigned to him if you're worried about him getting lost in the system. The defendant should have a date on which he should be brought to court for a status update. You'd want him to have a lawyer there if none is already assigned to argue for his immediate release if there's been no action.