Law Offices of Kenneth H. Lewis
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Los Angeles Extradition Attorney

"Don't automatically assume that another state has the right to bring you to Los Angeles or send you to another state; there are special procedures to follow, and they don't always do them correctly!" Ken Lewis, Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney

Because the United States is made up of 50 states and a federal court system, a person accused of committing a crime in one jurisdiction may have to be transferred to another jurisdiction. There is a complex legal process for accomplishing this, which is called "extradition". Before you can be transferred between jurisdictions you have the right to demand that the government prove that you are the person in question and that there is "probable cause" to believe that there is a right to extradite you at all. An experienced extradition attorney can make certain all your rights are protected and can reduce any amount of time in jail you may have to spend while paperwork is being clarified between the jurisdictions. Ken Lewis has over 34 years experience handling extradition matters and can make sure all your legal rights are fully protected. Call Kenneth H. Lewis& Associates today to schedule an appointment with a skilled Los Angeles extradition attorney.

Exactly what is extradition?

Beginning with California Penal Code Section 1548.1, there is a statutory procedure laid out for the governor of California to return persons to another jurisdiction who have fled the other jurisdiction, either before being tried for a crime, or who have fled before completing their term of imprisonment, or violated any term of parole, probation or bail. The jurisdiction asking to return the person is called the "demanding" state. The person being demanded is the "fugitive". The state where the fugitive is held is the "asylum" state. There is also a procedure set forth for California to demand the return of persons in other jurisdictions accused of committing a crime in California who have fled before trial or who have not completed their term of imprisonment, parole, probation or term of bail in California.

How does the extradition procedure begin?

When a person residing in California or another state is stopped for a traffic violation or some other crime, their name is usually run through a computer system that will find any arrest warrants originating in another state. Law enforcement officials will then notify the other state that they are holding a person (fugitive) on their warrant. Frankly, in minor cases the other state may not bother to seek extradition because of the expense of having the police pickup that person and transport them to their state. However, in more serious cases the demanding state will definitely spend the money to take their fugitive back.

Is the fugitive automatically held in custody?

It may be possible to arrange for bail while the extradition situation is straightened out. An experienced extradition attorney may also be able to negotiate a release with the prosecution, or a lowered bail amount. However, unfortunately, a person may be held in custody throughout the entire extradition procedure, which can take 30 days or sometimes more.

Exactly what is the procedure to extradite a person?

Someone accused of being a fugitive from another state must be brought before a magistrate (judge) with "all practicable speed." The magistrate must then do the following:

  • Inform the person of the reason for the arrest;
  • Inform the person of their right to counsel;
  • Inform the person he or she has the right to "waive extradition" and ask whether they wish to do so;
  • Ask the person if they want to admit the facts alleged and admit they are the correct person;
  • If they deny that they are the correct person or that the facts alleged are true, the magistrate must schedule an identity, probable cause hearing to establish whether or not they are the correct person and/or that there is reasonable (i.e. probable) cause to believe the person has actually been charged in the other jurisdiction or convicted of a crime in that jurisdiction.

Sometimes the demanding state has sent improper or inadequate documents. At that point it is vital to have an experienced extradition attorney who can defend you.

What does "waiving extradition" mean?

It means a fugitive does not fight extradition and admits they are the person wanted by the demanding jurisdiction, that there is a legitimate arrest warrant out for them, and that they will voluntarily allow themselves to be taken to the demanding jurisdiction.

How Ken Lewis Can Help You?

Knowing the ins and outs of extradition is vital to a person caught up in the extradition process. Being arrested and threatened to be sent to another state or being dragged from another state to California is a stressful and debilitating experience. Matters of identification are vital. Ken Lewis can review the documents and determine if you are the right person; he may be able to arrange your release or lower your bail pending the extradition hearing. He may be able to contact counsel in the demanding state and resolve the problem that resulted in the issuance of the arrest warrant in the first place or resolve the problem with the California courts. At Kenneth H. Lewis & Associates, we have been helping people with extradition issues for over 30 years. We have an outstanding track record of success in defending individuals in the California state, federal and appellate courts.

Call Ken Lewis now to schedule a NO COST CONSULTATION day or night: