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Fugitive from Justice Warrants in New York State

In some cases, an individual may be facing a minor charge in which obtaining a reasonable bail would be fairly easy. The defendant might even be released free of bail on his or her own recognizance in some cases. However, even if you are facing this type of minor charge, outstanding warrants for you in another state will complicate matters. Upon your arrest, the police in New York will search for outstanding warrants for you in other states and, when they do find such requests for a hold, they can keep you in jail without bail for a 90 day period.

Established by the U.S. Constitution (US Const, art IV, § 2, cl 2)and by Federal Law (18 USC § 3182), defendants in outstanding criminal matters can be extradited between states. Additionally, the laws in New York State (CPL 570.06) also allow for defendants to be held, pending extradition to face charges in another state. These are called fugitive from justice warrants and the laws are designed to prevent a defendant from seeking sanctuary in another state. The state in which the defendant is recovered is required to turn the individual over for prosecution to the jurisdiction in which the person is charged with criminal activity.

New York Criminal Procedure Law establishes the New York Criminal Justice Uniform Extradition Act under CPL 570. While facing the current charges for which he was arrested in New York, the defendant will also face fugitive from justice charges. The arraignment of the defendant provides him with the opportunity to either waive extradition and agree to be transported back to the state from which he fled or to fight the request for extradition. In order to be extradited from a New York court, the defendant must be facing charges that carry one year of imprisonment or more.
Under CPL 570.36, the defendant can only be held up to 30 days for a governor’s warrant, but CPL 570.40 allows that limit to be extended an additional 60 days. The full 90 days begins to count down from the day that the fugitive warrant was issued.

Once the defendant has been held for extradition, New York courts await word from the out of state jurisdiction. The court in that jurisdiction must notify as to whether or not they intend to arrange for the defendant’s transportation. It will be up to officers of the court which issued the fugitive warrant to retrieve the defendant for prosecution. The state issuing the warrant is also responsible for establishing how the defendant will be returned to their state. The defendant may be transported by air flight or by automobile transportation. In most cases, the courts will authorize the cheapest mode of transportation.

Depending on your situation, you may not even realize or remember that you have had criminal charges levied against you in an out of state jurisdiction. Whatever the circumstances, it’s important to face your arraignment and any charges against you with an experienced criminal defense lawyer at your side. While any criminal charges pose a unique challenge to your freedom and to your future, facing a fugitive from justice warrant can be an especially complex process.

Even if you wish to comply with a fugitive from justice extradition request, a legal advocate can ensure your rights are protected. Facing charges for criminal charges in another jurisdiction creates a unique situation in which your rights to due process and a fair trial might be violated for the sake of expediency. An attorney who knows the law in these matters can ensure the process remains respectful of your rights.
If you do wish to contest or fight extradition, this isn’t something you will be able to do on your own. You will need the expertise of an attorney who knows the law, as well as one who is familiar with the criminal justice system and those working in the court system. This extensive knowledge and experience will help him form a defense strategy that will give you the best chances for victory. Whether you successfully defeat an extradition request, you may still be facing criminal charges in New York, which is another good reason to have a lawyer working for you.

by Leonard on Spodek Law Group
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