Understanding Extradition and Governor’s Warrants in California

If you are facing charges for a crime in San Diego, fleeing the state will not do much good. Similarly, if you have committed a crime in another state, fleeing to California for safety will not be particularly useful. This is because California has extradition rules in place, meaning that California will not protect suspected criminals from facing the consequences of their actions. In addition to having its own extradition laws on the books, California is a signatory to the Uniform Criminal Extradition Act. This Act provides guidelines for states to help one another arrest, try, and convict criminals who cross state lines.

If, being faced with criminal charges, you crossed state lines it is important to understand how extradition works. Contact the Law Office of Vikas Bajaj, APC to speak with one of our qualified San Diego criminal defense attorneys. We will review your case and explain how the process of extradition could affect you.

Extradition Laws in California

There are two types of extradition in California. The first is when you are arrested in California but have committed a crime in another state. The second is when you have committed a crime in California and are arrested (or a warrant is issued for your arrest) in another state where you are present. In either of these cases, an extradition warrant may be issued. This extradition warrant would allow the arresting state to transfer jurisdiction and control of the case to another state.

For example, if you commit a burglary in San Diego and flee to Arizona, where you are later arrested, California can issue an extradition warrant to have your case transferred back to San Diego. Similarly, if you are arrested in San Diego for violating your probation in Nevada, California can detain you until Nevada issues an extradition warrant. At that time, California would transfer legal authority in your case to Nevada, where you would be required to return to face the consequences of your probation violation.

Extradition warrants (or Governor’s Warrants) can be legally issued under California Penal Code sections 1548-1558 PC. PC or the Uniform Criminal Extradition Act. However, before a defendant can be transferred a hearing must be held to determine that extradition is proper.

Extradition Hearing

The extradition hearing is held to determine if a defendant should lawfully be transferred to (or from) California for criminal proceedings. The court will have two main objectives in this hearing. The first is to determine if the charges against the defendant are valid. The second is to determine if the defendant is, in fact, the person that is believed to have committed this crime. If the court determines that the charges are appropriate and the defendant is, in fact, a proper target of extradition, it will approve the warrant.

Extradition Waiver

As a defendant who has been detained subject to extradition you have a couple of options. First, you can deny the allegations and fight the extradition. This will require proving that:

  1. the charges against you are untrue or improper, or
  2. you have been mistakenly identified as someone else.

If you do not want to fight the extradition you have the option to waive extradition and return to the wanting state voluntarily. The wanting state is the state in which you are accused of committing a crime.

Fighting Extradition in San Diego

Has an extradition warrant or Governor’s Warrant been issued for you in the state of California? If so, contact the experienced criminal defense attorneys at the Law Office of Vikas Bajaj, APC. All states, with the exception of Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina, will extradite to California. We can help you fight extradition and minimize the consequences of your arrest. It is important to act quickly, so do not hesitate to call us today.

Law Office of Vikas Bajaj, APC
1230 Columbia Street Suite 565
San Diego, CA 92101