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Extradition Warrants in California

Warrants get issued for people all over the country and then they get caught in a state and then the question is going to be, is the person going to be extradited back to the state where the warrant is based out of?  They catch people in California all of the time.  I do a lot of these cases.

To give readers a better understanding about extradition warrants, our California criminal defense attorneys are providing an overview below.

Moving Defendant to Proper Jurisdiction

They either want to move the people to another state or they're moving them to another jurisdiction in California, or you have a situation where a person is caught in another state and they're going to be extradited back to California. See Proceedings Against Fugitives From Justice – California Penal Code 1547 – 1558.

Whatever the case may be, hiring and attorney in both locations is usually a good idea if you can.  Obviously, you want to get an attorney in the jurisdiction where the case is pending because the person is likely to get extradited there.

You want the attorney to start making some moves before the person actually gets back to the particular courthouse where the case is pending.  Also, sometimes things can be done to post bail in the jurisdiction where the case is pending and also post bail in the jurisdiction where the person is caught and then the person can get out and show up themselves into the area where the warrant is versus having to be extradited back.

The problem with extradition into California from another state is, it takes time.  You could be sitting in there two to five weeks waiting to get extradited back to California.  It's just a waste of time, especially if it's not a type of case where prison or jail time is really going to occur.  Why would you burn all that time in custody when it could just simply be handled the right way?

Identity Hearing

Another issue that comes up in these extradition cases — either extraditing the person into California or out of California to another state is what they call an Identity Hearing.

Extradition Warrants in California

Basically what that is, they're trying to determine whether or not the person they're trying to move is the person that the jurisdiction that has the warrant is looking for.  So, of course, that person is entitled to an identity hearing.

In other words, if they grab the wrong person and then try to move them into California for example, obviously that person is going to want to say, no I don't want to go to California.  I don't want to be extradited.  The warrant's not for me.  I'm not the person.

So, they would be entitled to an identity hearing to prove whether or not they're the person.  If it can be shown that they're not the person, then they're not going to be extradited and will be released and obviously, they'd better hire an attorney to figure out the whole extradition issue so they don't have this problem again.

If you are actually the person that they're trying to find and you know you have a warrant and you're in California or in another location or you're their family member and you know they have a warrant, in my opinion, why waste the time of doing an identity hearing.

You might as well just deal with the issue.  Otherwise, you're going to burn a bunch of time in custody, ultimately just to be determined to be the person and you're going to be extradited anyway.

Let's assume somehow you can just escape and you can avoid the extradition, that's fine but you're still going to have the warrant.  You're still going to be in a position where any future contact with law enforcement could result in an arrest and law enforcement may come and try to find you if they see that you have a warrant in their jurisdiction.  So, it's usually just best to take care of everything.

Retaining a California Criminal Lawyer

I would say your first priority is to hire a lawyer in California if you have a warrant there and you're being extradited into California from a different location.  Let that lawyer start to make moves for you on your behalf before you even get there, speak to the prosecutor, look at any defenses that might be available.

Look at any investigation that needs to be done so when you actually arrive in the location where you're being into extradited into, the case is ready to go.  The lawyer can argue bail if you're not out of custody and even see if the case can be resolved if that's the best way to handle it.

If you've got an extradition case and you or a loved one is being moved into California and you need a lawyer, pick up the phone.  Make the call.  I stand ready to help you with over 26 years of experience.

Hedding Law Firm is a criminal defense firm located in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles County at 16000 Ventura Blvd #1208 Encino, CA 91436. We are also located at 633 West Fifth Street Los Angeles, CA 90071. Contact us for a free case evaluation at (213) 542-0979.