What Happens When You Face Out of State Criminal Charges?
The state in which the alleged crime occurred is the state that has jurisdiction to prosecute the offense. So, for example if you live in New York and you are arrested for drunk driving in California then the state of California has the right to prosecute you for that offense.
This can lead to some very real logistical problems for the defendant. The criminal process often requires the defendant to appear in court multiple times. If the defendant has been released on bail or other terms pending trial then it can be burdensome to return to the state in which the defendant is tried every time a court appearance is required.
It is important to know that you cannot simply return to your home state and ignore the charges from the other state. The states and territories of the United States are required by the U.S. Constitution to render suspects on the request of another state. This is commonly referred to as extradition.
Often, out of state residents who are arrested face misdemeanor charges such as driving while intoxicated or breach of the peace. Many states allow the defendant to hire a local attorney who can appear for the defendant in most criminal proceedings. That means that you would not have to bear the expense of traveling to the state in which the alleged misdemeanor occurred nor would you have to lose time from work in order to defend yourself.
If you choose to allow your attorney to appear for you then it is important that you find someone whom you trust and that you stay in close contact with your attorney by telephone or e-mail so that you know exactly what is happening with your case.
If you are arrested for a felony then one of the first things that will happen is a bail hearing. If the arrest happens in a state other than your home state then it is unlikely that the judge will release you on your own recognizance because you do not have strong ties to the community. Instead, you will likely be required to post bail. Bail is a kind of guarantee to the court that you will come back for further proceedings.
While bail is often required for in state defendants, it is almost always required for out of state defendants. If the defendant appears in court as required then the bail is refunded. If the defendant does not appear as required then the bail is not returned to the defendant and the defendant is likely to be arrested and held in custody pending trial.
If you are convicted of a crime then in most circumstances the conviction becomes part of the public record. Therefore, your out of state conviction might follow you if future employers or other parties are interested. Thus, it is important to adhere to all of the rules in the jurisdiction in which you are charged and to work with a competent attorney for the best possible outcome.
Speak to an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Today
This article is intended to be helpful and informative. But even common legal matters can become complex and stressful. A qualified criminal defense lawyer can address your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact a local criminal defense attorney to discuss your specific legal situation.
Additional Criminal Defense Articles
- Criminal Law
- What To Do If You're Arrested
- Miranda Rights: The Who, What, Where, When and Why
- Initial Consultation With a Criminal Defense Attorney or a Public Defender
- Infraction, Misdemeanor or Felony: What is the Difference?
- Murder vs. Manslaughter
- Avoiding a Criminal Record
- Can Police Search a Car Without a Warrant?
- Expunging Criminal Records
- What to do if Police Use Excessive Force
- Sentencing Guidelines: Fair Sentences or a Denial of Trial by Jury?
- Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity
- Police Misconduct Leading to Wrongful Convictions
- How the False Testimony of Snitches Results in Wrongful Convictions
- Witness Misidentification
- Prosecutorial Misconduct Leading to Wrongful Convictions
- How Bad Lawyering Can Result in Wrongful Convictions
- Your Fifth Amendment Right Against Self-Incrimination
- Violating Probation
- Search and Seizure Laws by State
- Criminal Statutes of Limitations: Time Limits for State Charges
- Double Jeopardy
- What Is The National Sex Offender Registry?
- The Truth About Perjury
- Bail For Beginners
- When Does Discipline Become Abuse?
- Are Lie Detector Tests Admissible?
- Defense Strategies in Criminal Cases
- Probable Cause to Arrest Someone
- Resisting Arrest
- The Fruit of the Poisonous Tree Doctrine
- What Is a Defense Attorney?
- Criminal Law Basics
- When Must The Police Read Me My Miranda Rights?
- What is a Plea Bargain?
- What is expungement?
- What is Assault?
- What are my rights when charged with a crime?
- What Is Bail?
- Does an Expunged Criminal Record Still Follow You?
- If I Am Arrested, Should I Hire An Attorney?
State Criminal Defense Articles
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota