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What is the Extradition Process in California?

Posted in Criminal Defense on February 25, 2020

You may have seen TV shows where people are arrested because law enforcement discovers they have a warrant. Sometimes these warrants come from other states, which can complicate matters for the person being arrested.

How is Extradition Defined?

The term extradition refers to the legal process in which a person who has allegedly committed a crime and/or violated their bail, probation, or parole is returned to the state from which the violation or crime occurred. There are two types of extradition in California:

  1. extradition from California
  2. extradition back to California

The state where a person escapes imprisonment commits a crime or violates the terms of the bail, probation, or parole is called the “home” or “demanding” state. The state in which the person is apprehended is called the “asylum” state.

Extradition into California

If you were in California and allegedly committed a crime, escaped imprisonment, or violated the terms of your bail, probation, or parole, and then flee the state, California may seek to have you extradited back if you are caught elsewhere.

When determining whether or not to demand your return, California must weigh the time and expense required to bring you back to the state against the severity of a crime that you are accused of. If the state decides that extradition is necessary, there are a series of steps they must follow. This includes:

  1. issuing a demand to the asylum state for your return
  2. sending an agent to get you from the asylum state within 30 days of your arrest
  3. bring you back to the state to answer to the charges, face sentencing, or be reincarcerated

Extradition from California

In cases where California is the asylum state, there are different steps that will be followed before a person is returned. Just because another state claims that someone in California has violated its laws does not mean that California will automatically return that person. State law requires that California be certain that the person being demanded is the actual person being sought by the demanding state. Extradition laws from California require:

  1. receiving a proper demand from the home state
  2. issuing a California Governor’s warrant
  3. conducting an identification/probable cause hearing to ensure the person is not being falsely accused or improperly extradited

Contact the Law Offices of Graham Donath

If you or somebody you care about is facing extradition to or from California, please speak to a skilled criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Most individuals facing extradition do not have the resources or experience necessary to properly defend themselves in court. Please understand that these are serious matters. At the Law Offices of Graham Donath, APC, our qualified and experienced team is ready to conduct a thorough investigation into your case in order to achieve the best possible outcome on your behalf.

There are various defenses that an attorney could raise in your case. In many cases, there are serious flaws in the extradition paperwork that render the extradition invalid. All too often, those facing extradition are the victims of mistaken identity. Unfortunately, extradition typically flips the concept of “innocent until proven guilty” to “guilty until proven innocent.”

When you need a California extradition attorney, you can contact us for a consultation on your case or by calling as soon as possible.