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PC 1548.1 Extradition Laws in California- IE-Criminal Defense

I. PC 1548.1: Extradition

Legal Definition: Subject to the provisions of this chapter, the Constitution of the United States, and the laws of the United States, it is the duty of the Governor of this State to have arrested and delivered up to the executive authority of any other State any person charged in that State with treason, felony, or other crime, who has fled from justice and is found in this State.

II. What does this mean?

Extradition happens when you have an outstanding case, and warrant, from another state, and you are arrested for that case in a different state. Part of this section involves people outside of the State of California who have an active warrant in a different state, not in California, that local authorities in California have found out about. Extradition in this example does not apply to people in California who are charged with a California criminal offense. However, if you are charged with a crime in California, you can also be arrested in another state, and then Extradited back to California to face trial on those charges.

If you are arrested in California for an out of state warrant, then under this code section, it is a requirement of the Governor of California to deliver that accused person to the State charging them with a crime, if they are found and arrested in California. The state in which you are arrested is called the asylum state, as it is the state you are currently present. The demanding state is the state where you either have an open criminal case, probation or parole violation, or otherwise a warrant for your arrest, that the asylum state holds and makes arrangements for delivery back to the demanding state.

III. Am I subject to Extradition?

You can be subjected to extradition to your demanding state under any of the following examples:

  1. You have an open criminal case and therefore a warrant from another state;
  2. You violation Probation or Parole, or a term of your bail, leading to a warrant for your arrest;
  3. You fled the state pending an investigation, and are charged with a criminal offense;
  4. You escaped Prison or Jail.

Even if you are unaware that you have pending criminal charges, you can be subjected to Extradition. This can happen in more serious cases, where police have to take a lot of time to investigate a criminal case, and during that investigation, you decide to move. Many times I’ve received calls from people who are residents of another state but found out through a background check that they have an active warrant in California and had no idea charges were ever even filed against them. A way to avoid being extradited, which can land you sitting in custody for 30 days, is to return to the demanding state and handling your matter sooner than later. If you have an active warrant, contact a Criminal Defense attorney in your area that can help guide you, and help to avoid you remaining in custody while you are being extradited.

IV. How does the demand process work for Extradition?

First, when arrested, the California Prosecutor will notify the state demanding you, letting them know that they have you in custody in California. Once notice is given, a demand must be given from the demanding state that California delivers the inmate to their possession. Secondly, after a demand is made, California will have a Probable Cause Hearing, to determine you are the person wanted in another state (explained below). Third, California will then issue a California Governor’s warrant authorizing the inmate’s return to the demanding state.

V. What is a Probable Cause Hearing under PC 1550.1?

Under a Probable Cause Hearing, a Judge must determine that you are the person in the arrest warrant from another state, before transferring you to that state. Here, you can challenge whether you are the person in the alleged charge from another state, and hire counsel to fight this Hearing. The burden is on the demanding state to prove that you are the person that they are searching for and they must show this by sufficient evidence.

In other circumstances, you can expedite the process if you do not contest that you are the person with an active warrant in another state. In most counties, the Judge can have you sign, agreeing that you are the person the demanding state is requesting, which would move you back to the demanding state faster. Otherwise, if you are the person, and know you have no reason to challenge this, you could remain in custody for a longer period, and be denied bail, pending the Probable Cause Hearing. This Hearing is meant for people claiming it is a mistaken identity only – you are not admitting guilty in the crime or accepting a plea deal. You are only admitting your identity for Extradition purposes.

VI. Call Today

Extradition is a very confusing part of California’s criminal law that leaves many people not knowing how best to handle theirs or their loved ones’ case. Call your local Ontario Criminal Defense Attorney today at the Inland Empire Defense 909-939-7126. Located in Ontario.

Disclaimer: The legal information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor should it be considered the formation of a lawyer or attorney-client relationship. If you would like to find out more information about your particular legal matter, contact our office for a consultation.

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