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View Full Version : what happens to a warrant when extradition is declined?


John F. Carr
09-29-2004, 10:39 AM
There was an old arrest warrant from California for a friend of
a friend who lives in Massachusetts. A few years ago he was
picked up by local police on the warrant and released when
California declined to extradite. This year the same thing
happened again -- arrest and release a couple days later.
He figured he was going to keep getting arrested until he cleared
up the warrant so he went back to California to deal with it.

As long an out of state warrant remains in the system, are police
free to arrest the person named in the warrant even though the
other state doesn't want to extradite? If so, is there anything
to prevent another arrest the moment the guy is released? If not,
how does the system know that the other state doesn't really want
the guy even though there is a warrant?

--
John Carr (jfc@mit.edu)

Gerald Clough
10-03-2004, 01:25 PM
John F. Carr wrote:

There was an old arrest warrant from California for a friend of a friend who lives in Massachusetts. A few years ago he was picked up by local police on the warrant and released when California declined to extradite. This year the same thing happened again -- arrest and release a couple days later. He figured he was going to keep getting arrested until he cleared up the warrant so he went back to California to deal with it. As long an out of state warrant remains in the system, are police free to arrest the person named in the warrant even though the other state doesn't want to extradite? If so, is there anything to prevent another arrest the moment the guy is released? If not, how does the system know that the other state doesn't really want the guy even though there is a warrant?

The "system" doesn't know. The arresting agency normally learns that the
entering agency won't extradite at the time the warrant is confirmed. It
works this way. The person is stopped or encountered. There is a "hit"
from an inquiry, normally on name and DOB. The dispatcher sends a
confirmation message to the agency that put the warrant in the system.
They respond, confirming the warrant. If they won't travel to that state
to extradite, they say so, and the arresting agency doesn't arrest.

Generally, misdemeanors are entered only in the home state, since few
would want to travel far to extradite. Felonies are usually entered
nationally. There are some states they may wish to extradite from and
some they feel are too far away to be worth it. But the warrant stays in
the national system until it's served or withdrawn. Any agency in the US
will find it on an inquiry.

So, one can be detained until the warrant is confirmed or not, until
it's taken care of. I suspect, from your account, that the initial
response was to confirm the warrant, but that the local authority
declined the next day to extradite.

You're really never arrested for a warrant from another state, which is
addressed to any peace office in the State of XXX. What you're arrested
for is being a fugitive from justice, which of course means you're
wanted in another state. So, I suppose that technically, you could be
rearrested right away, since you're still a fugitive. But the person can
only delivered up to the other state on the demand of the governor or
voluntarily, so that's not really in the picture.

That doesn't mean anyone will keep track of whether or not you've been
arrested there before for the other state's warrant. So it could well
happen again. There's a Uniform Criminal Extradition Act that's written
in whole or by reference into the laws of the various states.


--
Gerald Clough
"Nothing has any value, unless you know you can give it up."

truckinsp
10-03-2004, 01:26 PM
>There was an old arrest warrant from California for a friend of
a friend who lives in Massachusetts. A few years ago he waspicked up by local police on the warrant and released when California declined to extradite. This year the same thinghappened again -- arrest and release a couple days later.He figured he was going to keep getting arrested until he clearedup the warrant so he went back to California to deal with it.
As long an out of state warrant remains in the system, are policefree to arrest the person named in the warrant even though theother state doesn't want to extradite? If so, is there anythingto prevent another arrest the moment the guy is released? If not,how does the system know that the other state doesn't really wantthe guy even though there is a warrant?

--
John Carr (jfc@mit.edu)


Law enforcement officers don't get a list of who has outstanding
warrants...the normal way an officer finds out that a person has an
outstanding warrant is when the person is stopped for some other reason and
a driver check is done. The one exception to this that I know is that
counties usually hire a warrant officer who will look for people who have
outstanding warrants issued by his county, but he is required to look only
in the county he works for.

In any event, there is no way for a police officer to know a person has an
out of state warrant unless he has stopped that person for some other
reason.

Warrant information is placed in the national computer and when a driver's
license or name and date of birth are run, the computer will return a hit.
The dispatcher then verifies with the state if the warrant is valid and if
the state will extradite. A police officer doesn't know this information
and he doesn't "arrest" you, he "detains" (yes, I know it feels like an
arrest, but it isn't really - you are free to go with a few minutes) you
until the warrant information can be verified. If you were arrested, you
would be taken to a detention facility and required to pay the warrant or be
incarcerated.

Warrants don't expire because they are issued by the court and only the
court can cancel them. I saw a warrant last week from 1991.

Seth Breidbart
10-26-2004, 05:13 PM
In article <1rd0m0prpqko507i87sutrttqit2lr2g5p@4ax.com>,
truckinsp <truckinsp@nowhere.com> wrote:

A police officer doesn't know this information and he doesn't"arrest" you, he "detains" (yes, I know it feels like an arrest, butit isn't really - you are free to go with a few minutes)

Exactly how long can an arrest be before they have to admit it's an
arrest?

Seth

Gerald Clough
10-28-2004, 05:52 AM
Seth Breidbart wrote:

In article <1rd0m0prpqko507i87sutrttqit2lr2g5p@4ax.com>, truckinsp <truckinsp@nowhere.com> wrote:
A police officer doesn't know this information and he doesn't"arrest" you, he "detains" (yes, I know it feels like an arrest, butit isn't really - you are free to go with a few minutes) Exactly how long can an arrest be before they have to admit it's an arrest?

That depends on the context of the discussion. These questions most
often arise in criminal cases in which the issue is whether the
circumstances and duration of the detention was reasonable. I might, for
instance, detain a person closely matching the description of the actor
in a robbery whom I found leaving the area or in some combination of
ways conforming closely to the description and otherwise reasonably to
be considered a suspect. I can detain him for investigative purposes and
may even transport him abck to the scene to be viewed by the victim or
witness. If the detention exceeds the limits of what is reasonable for
the circumstances, various results are contaminated. An unreasonable
detention is not necessarily an arrest.

More often, the question is one of whether or not the person was "in
custody." That's tested against a person's reasonable belief that they
are or are not free to go whenever they choose and is particularly
relevant in the admissibility of statements.

An arrest is demonstrated by the reality that you weren't released. Or,
of course, when you are told you are "under arrest." (You may be
"unarrested." No real basis in law for unarresting, but it's difficult
to complain about being "unarrested," if the arrest was lawful.) Until
then, it's sometimes rather hard to tell the difference, since detention
may lead to arrest.

--
Gerald Clough
"Nothing has any value, unless you know you can give it up."

Barry Gold
11-02-2004, 12:44 PM
truckinsp <truckinsp@nowhere.com> wrote:
A police officer doesn't know this information and he doesn't"arrest" you, he "detains" (yes, I know it feels like an arrest, butit isn't really - you are free to go with a few minutes)

Seth Breidbart wrote:
Exactly how long can an arrest be before they have to admit it's an arrest?

One way to cut through this "gordian knot" of "detention" vs. "arrest"
is to ask the simple question, "Am I free to go, officer." If the
answer is "no", then it's a custodial interrogation.

--
I pledge allegiance to the Constitution of the United States of America,
and to the republic which it established, one nation from many peoples,
promising liberty and justice for all.

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