How Do I know If I have An Out of State Warrant?
The quickest and easiest way to find out if you have an outstanding warrant in another state is to use an online search site like AllGovWarrants.com. Your searches are confidential and secure and our search system will pull information on any person nationwide from all 50 states. Another way to find out about out of state warrants is to physically go down to the local court house in the state you think the record(s) resides. However, this is time consuming especially if the state isn't within driving distance or you're not sure which state you got arrested or what county. Also, if you do have a warrant for your arrest you run the risk of being detained on the spot depending on the circumstances. This is not a situation you want to be in for many reasons, one of which is you wouldn't be in your home state. If you run an online background check and find you have a warrant out of state, the best advice is to hire an attorney to act on your behalf. In cases where the warrant is to be handled long distance it makes sense to acquire a lawyer's assistance so you don't have to make unnecessary trips to deal with an outstanding warrant on your own.
Can I be arrested if I committed a crime in another state?
The answer to that is absolutely. Just because you committed a crime in one state and you don't live there has no bearing on the law. According to the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, an arrest can be executed anywhere in the United States as long as it's backed by a valid warrant. To protect the rights of citizens, all 50 states have the right to prosecute any crime that occurs within that state's borders.
If you are accused of a crime in another state you will have to return to the jurisdiction in which the alleged crime took place and appear in court to resolve the case one way or another. When a person is arrested for a crime committed in another state, there are certain guidelines that must be strictly followed in order to have the accused legally returned and stand trial. Each state has the authority to charge you with the full extent of the law regardless if you live in that state or not. This process is know as extradition. Extradition is governed by the Uniform Criminal Extradition Act (UCEA). All states that have adopted the UCEA, the process by which one state may request a prisoner be returned and by which the host state must oblige has been made uniform for the cooperation of the law. The only two states that don't participate in the UCEA are Missouri and South Carolina. These states have their own extradition provisions in place.
What are the requirements for extradition?
The state requesting a person be extradited must fulfill 4 requirements before a person can be legally handed over to the appropriate authorities. These requirements have been set forth by the Supreme Court of the United States to protect the rights of all citizens and avoid the arrest of innocent people. The first thing the requesting state must do is validate that the person to be extradited has been charged with a crime. Once that is verified, the requesting state must prove the person is a fugitive from the requesting state. The state must be able to confirm the person was actually in the requesting state at the time the crime happened. Most importantly, the requesting state must certify the person to be extradited is the actual person named on the warrant. Only then can a person be turned over to the authorities and given a fair and just trial.
Should I hire a lawyer if I have an out of state arrest record?
It's always wise to hire a lawyer when dealing with the law, especially if you have a warrant for your arrest. Even more so when dealing with warrants that are out of state. An attorney specializing in criminal law can make all the difference in your case even if you're guilty. You probably don't know all the laws in your own state, never mind another state. Only a lawyer is knowledgeable about the law and has the resources to represent you in court or get a record removed from your personal file.
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