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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27705
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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If a person is sought by a warrant in another state and is

Customer Question

If a person is sought by a warrant in another state and is picked up, local authorities are to keep that person in custody for five days (correct me if I'm wrong) allowing for his or her extradition.. My question is: if the state issueing the warrant declines to extradite, is the matter then nullified from that point on? (warrant:CA reside:CO)
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 7 years ago.

The Uniform Extradition Act gives a wanting state 30 days to get their paperwork together and come get a defendant on a fugitive warrant. Obviously, if they send word to the state before then that they are not going to extradite, the state will release the defendant from custody. However, the Act just gives guidelines. All states give full faith and credit to a sister state's fugitive warrants, and if the state is going to come get the defendant, the courts will hold him for "a reasonable time." Because of the Act, the time doesn't start looking unreasonable until after 30 days. The time starts running from the date the defendant formally agrees on the record to return to the state that wants him and not from the time of his arrest. So if he decides that he wants to contest extradition (usually pretty pointless unless he's not the person described in the warrant) none of that time would count to towards the time awaiting extradition.

Extradition is expensive and states do it sparingly. They don't extradite in misdemeanors. They usually do on serious felonies and violations of parole or probation. But because of the expense, sometimes they don't. It would then be up to the state to decide whether or not to keep the warrant out there or to lift it. The matter is not necessarily nullified which means that this whole situation can happen again and again until the person comes in and deals with it. The easiest thing to do would be to call the public defender's office in the county where the warrant was issued and have them look up whether the warrant still remains. Alternatively, you could call the clerk of the court where the defendant failed to appear or simply order a copy of your California RAP sheet.
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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I would like to know how to find out which states will and which will not honor/validate the warrant for which I'm sought in California. Last week I was stopped by a Colorado State Patrolman for a burned out headlight, figured I was off to jail. He acknowledged that CA had a warrant for me, and informed me that the warrant was not valid in Colorado, which is where I reside. How can I find out what states are "safe"?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 6 years ago.
EVERY state, US territory, ane border crossing is supposed to give full faith and credit to a warrant from another state, so there's no safe place

The patrolman obviously found out about the warrant when he ran your license plate and word checked to see whether California wanted you held. That doesn't mean, however, that it will always come out this way or that California quashed the warrant and that it doesn't exist any more. You would need to get your RAP sheet to see that or to call a public defender in California and see if he'd run a warrant check for you on their conputers.. There are just never any guarantees with fugitive warrants.