Extradition on Felony Warrants

Extradition is the legal process of bringing a person with an outstanding warrant in Nevada back to the state if they are living in another state. Similarly, a fugitive who flees to Nevada may be extradited to the state where they are facing criminal charges.

Nevada police are legally obligated to arrest fugitives from other states and return them to those states through the extradition process. 

For example, let’s say John Smith is charged with committing burglary in Utah and flees to Nevada. Extradition is the process where Nevada police locate and arrest John in Nevada even though the burglary took place in Utah. If the extradition goes through, John Smith will be transferred from Nevada back to Utah to be prosecuted for the burglary offense, in addition to a host of new offenses related to fleeing the state.

Types of Fugitives Most Commonly Eligible for Extradition

Nevada adopted the Uniform Criminal Extradition Act (“UCEA”) which governs the laws and procedures for extradition. The UCEA is codified under Nevada Revised Statutes 179. Below is an overview of the types of fugitives who may be extradited from Nevada pursuant to the UCEA.

  • Someone who commits a crime in another state and flees while the case is still pending;
  • Someone who escapes from jail or prison in another state;
  • Someone who violates bail in another state;
  • Someone violates parole or probation in another state; or
  • Someone who move or travel to Nevada and had no idea there is a warrant for their arrest in another state. Often these people do not realize they are wanted until they get pulled over for a traffic stop and the cop runs a “wants and warrants check” on them.

Is It Possible for Nevada Law Enforcement to Arrest Someone for Crimes Committed in a Different State?

Yes. However, law enforcement from both Nevada and the other state must follow proper extradition protocols for the extradition to be considered legitimate.

How Extradition Actually Works in Las Vegas

The process of extradition is complex and involves multiple steps. First, the state where the suspected fugitive is wanted (referred to as the “demanding state”) gives Nevada (the “asylum” state) an affidavit, judgment or indictment that charges the suspect with a crime. Second, the Governor of Nevada issues a “Governor’s Warrant” on the suspect. Third, Nevada law enforcement have 60 days to arrest the suspected fugitive. Once Nevada police arrest the suspected fugitive, they have one of two choices:

  1. Waive formal extradition and agree to be transferred back to the home state, or
  2. Deny the allegations and demand an extradition hearing to protest being transferred back to the home state

If the suspected fugitive waives extradition and agrees to go back to the home state, the charges will typically be dismissed. However, the person will usually face an added criminal charge in the home state for being a “fugitive from justice.” If, on the other hand, the person wants to stay in Nevada and fight extradition, they will have a court hearing which is similar to a trial. The prosecutor for the state will argue for extradition, and your Las Vegas defense attorneys will argue against it.

Speak to a Lawyer Today to Begin Fighting the Extradition

Now is the time for action. Do not delay. Each minute you do not have counsel is a minute that strengthens the case for extraditing you from Nevada or back to Nevada, depending on your particular case. Contact experienced Las Vegas criminal defense attorney Nick Wooldridge and his team as LV Criminal Defense.

We stand ready to help you now in the toughest cases in the state and federal courts in Nevada