In a all to common scenario, a client will call my office for representation in a new criminal case in which the charges are relatively minor and it would be an easy case for the defendant to be released on his or her own recognizance and/or released with relatively low bail. Unfortunately, once they are arrested NYPD will see that they have an out of state warrant or hold lodged against them.  The warrant can be from another state, and the holds can be from immigration authorities or probation. This warrant/hold will keep them in remand status for up to 90 days.

This article will deal with fugitive from justice warrants in which a person is arrested in New York, for a crime committed in another state. In this scenario, extradition is mandatory under the United States Constitution (US Const, art IV, § 2, cl 2), under Federal Law (18 USC § 3182), and under New York State law (CPL 570.06). The purpose of the extradition clause is to permit the states to try offenders in the jurisdiction in which the crimes were committed and to preclude any state from being a sanctuary for fugitives from justice from another state. The New York Criminal Justice Uniform Extradition Act is incorporated into the New York Criminal Procedure Law in CPL 570.

The Fugitive from Justice Charge in New York

At the defendants arraignment in local criminal court, one of the charges will be  CPL 570 – Fugitive From Justice based on the warrant lodged against him or her.  The defendant will have the opportunity to waive extradition and agree to be transported to the other state or to contest extradition.

The NY fugitive from justice law allows a defendant to brought before a local criminal court on either a warrant, or upon reasonable information that the accused stands charged in the courts of another state with a crime punishable by a term of prison exceeding one year. The defendant will be held in New York for a period of up to 30 days for the issuance of a Governor’s warrant. The initial 30 days can be extended for a longer period not to exceed 60 days. The initial 30 day holding period is permitted under CPL 570.36 and the defendant/fugitive can remain in remand status for up to 60 more days under CPL 570.40.The 90 day period in which the defendant must be released begins to run begins on the date of the fugitive warrant. The out of state Governor, has to issue a warrant within that time.

Consent to Extradition from New York to the Warrant State

The defendant will be remanded for the out of state jurisdiction to come and retrieve the defendant. The NY Criminal Court Judge will adjourn the fugitive matter for status reports to determine whether the out of state jurisdiction is making arrangements to retrieve the defendant. Extradition can be done by plane or by car and is the choice of the warrant state. They will usually do the most affordable method and do at their convenience.

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