In life, bad things happen to good people. Let's say that you were picked up in Georgia for a DUI or some other minor offense. You show up in court, expecting to get a fine and other penalties, but hope you are going to be released. Then, you discover that the courts have discovered an out-of-state bench warrant for your arrest. You've heard of an "extradition," but are unsure what it means for you.
Now, rather than pay a fine and go home, you are faced with possible extradition. At this point, you may not have even been aware that you were in trouble with the other court, but it is there. You need to understand what extradition is.
What Is Extradition?
When a person gets arrested or a warrant is issued for them, your name and other information about the case will be put into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC). If it is discovered that you have legal issues from another state, you can be held or have extra charges added that will hold you for extradition. Extradition is a formal process that allows a fugitive who is arrested in one state (an asylum state) to be surrendered to another state (the demanding state) for a trial or punishment because of an extradition warrant.
As an example: You were picked up in Georgia and the courts discovered a warrant for something that happened 5-years ago in Michigan. Therefore, Michigan demands you are returned to them (extradited) to face charges.
What Does Extradition Mean for You?
A lot of little details must come together, but ultimately it means you could be sent to another state. If you are being held on a fugitive warrant, you will have the option to (A) Consent to it, (B) Request an extradition bond, or (C) Request a hearing.
Most people opt to consent, which means you will need to sign a Waiver of Extradition Proceedings. At this time, you will be sent to the other state for further legal proceedings.
However, there are certain requirements that must be met and may be good reason for you to opt for a hearing. They include:
- Proof of an Arrest Warrant by the Demanding State
- The Demanding State Must Produce Sworn Charging Documents Alleging an Offense
- Must Provide Proof Identifying You as the Actual Fugitive
- The Demanding State Must Retrieve the Fugitive (you) Within 30 (sometimes 90) Days from Arrest
It is also recommended that you seek legal consult if you are facing extradition in Georgia. Insufficient documentation or insufficient identification could help you avoid the extradition process, especially if the demanding state is unable to rectify inaccurate information.