Extradition is an important feature of many criminal justice systems. Extradition ensures that a crime can be tried and prosecuted where it occurred, and many police forces and federal investigators cooperate to extradite people back to where the crime took place. If you are arrested in New Jersey on an outstanding arrest warrant, you may be sent back to the state that issued the warrant. Our Atlantic City criminal defense lawyer can help fight extradition and protect your rights as long as your case remains in New Jersey. We will explain more about extradition, rendition, and how interstate arrest warrants affect you.
What is Extradition and Interstate Rendition?
Extradition is the process of returning or surrendering someone over to another jurisdiction to face criminal charges or penalties. In many cases where someone crosses state lines while there is a warrant for their arrest, or if they flee to escape arrest, the warrant may appear on any warrant check in the United States.
Wanted persons may commit other crimes or have encounters with law enforcement in another state. When police have an encounter with someone, they may run a quick check to see if the subject of the investigation has any outstanding warrants. If they do, they will usually arrest them so that the person can be brought to court and face the charges the warrant was for. Even if the warrant came from another state, they may be arrested and extradited.
Technically speaking, “extradition” commonly refers to sending someone to another country to face charges. The United States has treaties with multiple countries to allow U.S. law enforcement to extradite criminals to other countries. Typically, these extradition cases involve sending a foreign citizen back home to face trial after they fled to the U.S. These treaties do not typically force the U.S. to extradite U.S. citizens for crimes committed abroad, but this is up to the terms of the specific treaty.
When one state extradites someone to another state, this is technically referred to as “rendition,” but many people use the term “extradition” because it is more well-known. Interstate rendition is governed by Article IV, § 2 of the U.S. Constitution. This generally pushes states to turn suspects over to other states, but it does allow them to file their own criminal charges and complete those cases as a priority over the other state’s charges.
Fighting Extradition for Another State’s Arrest Warrant
When you are arrested on a warrant from another state, the police will usually take you to jail to await due process before you are taken to the other state. Once you go back to the other state, you may face charges there and should hire a criminal defense lawyer qualified to represent you in that state. However, as long as you are in NJ, a New Jersey criminal defense attorney can fight to protect your rights and prevent extradition or rendition.
If you are arrested in New Jersey for an arrest warrant from another state, you may have a few chances to avoid extradition. First, New Jersey courts will need to hold an extradition hearing to see if you are the person named in the arrest warrant. If they have the wrong person, your attorney can help clear up the mistake, get you released, and get the arrest expunged. If you are the person named on the warrant, there may be multiple reasons that New Jersey does not want to extradite you, and your lawyer can help fight the extradition.
If New Jersey has charged you with another crime, they may want their charges to be handled first before you can be extradited back to another state. This means that the time it takes to file charges in NJ, resolve the case, and deal with delays in that case might push the other state’s charges down the road. This is not a final solution, but it could act as a delay in your case from the other state.
If New Jersey disagrees with the policies of the other state, New Jersey may refuse to extradite you. For instance, if the charges you face involve the potential of the death penalty, New Jersey may refuse to send you back to the other state. New Jersey does not allow the death penalty for murder, and there have been historic cases where states without the death penalty have refused to extradite people on trial for murder back to states that have the death penalty. However, these circumstances are quite rare, and you should not rely upon something like this.
Talk to Our NJ Criminal Defense Attorneys Today if You Face Out of State Warrants
If you think you might have a warrant against you in New Jersey or another state, contact a New Jersey defense attorney for out of state residents today. The Law Offices of John J. Zarych represent the accused and fight to protect them from illegal search and seizure and other rights violations. For help with your warrants, call our law offices today to schedule a free consultation. Our number is (609) 616-4956.