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Can Alaska extradite for a misdemeanor DUI bench warrant?

Seattle, WA |

I recently was charged with a DUI in the city of Nome, AK on my last night in town. I posted bail and flew back to Seattle the following morning. I was notified, not by the court, but by a friend that I had a bench warrant issued for my arrest the following week. A DUI is a misdemeanor in Alaska I believe and I want to know if I get stopped or Seattle PD runs my TX state license, will I be detained or extradited back to the state of Alaska? Also, what would be the best course of action to take, and can I resolve my court issues without having to return to Nome?

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Attorney answers 5

Best Answer
Posted

I am not sure that a misdemeanor, as opposed to a felony, bench warrant is going to be enforced in WA. I think it is more likely that you will be made aware of the warrant and told to resolve it. If you are taken into custody on it, AK has a limited number of days in which to transport you back.

Your license will be suspended. All 50 state and the District of Columbia have agreed that they will enforce each other's actions on license suspensions. If a DUI has suspension implications in AK, then TX will honor those. If caught driving in WA on a suspended license, you will be charged with the gross misdemeanor crime of Driving on a Suspended License 3.

Contact the court in AK to see if you can get a hearing date to quash the warrant, then contact a lawyer in Nome.

Asker

Posted

I found out today that the arresting officer was fired, this being his second police department in the state of Alaska that he has been fired from. Will that help my case in any way? He was fired within a week of issuing my DUI and has a history of "mishandling" situations.

Charles K. Kenyon Jr.

Charles K. Kenyon Jr.

Posted

I agree that it is unlikely that Alaska will extradite. At this point, is there a DUI suspension in Alaska? There may or may not be. I know of at least one state that does not act on another state's suspensions. Pennsylvania. I researched this about three months ago when representing a Pennsylvania driver with a Wisconsin DUI .

Charles K. Kenyon Jr.

Charles K. Kenyon Jr.

Posted

Pennsylvania does not suspend or revoke a Pennsylvania license based on an out-of-state DUI unless the driver fails to comply with any obligations in the convicting state, in which case they will refuse renewal of the license.

Christopher A Swaby

Christopher A Swaby

Posted

The officer no longer being with the law enforcement agency is probably a good fact for you but it doesnt change the fact that you need to deal with this matter.

Charles K. Kenyon Jr.

Charles K. Kenyon Jr.

Posted

I agree that his being fired does not hurt your case, but it doesn't make the charge go away, either.

Posted

You will probably not be able to resolve a criminal matter without returning to the court where it is filed. Either way you'll have to hire an attorney in Alaska to help you.

Alaska can extradite you on a misdemeanor warrant. However, Alaska would have to pay the expense for your return. It is unlikely that they would do that. You may spend a couple nights in jail while you wait to find out if you are picked up on a warrant.

The bigger problem is that you're probably facing a license suspension in Alaska. That suspension will be valid in both Texas and Washington. It is a crime to drive on a suspended license in Washington state. Thus, if you choose not to deal with this it will most likely result in more criminal charges and other hardships.

Scott. Lawrence
Law Office of Scott Lawrence

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-----Original message-----

Charles K. Kenyon Jr.

Charles K. Kenyon Jr.

Posted

I agree with most of what you said, but don't believe that Alaska can suspend or revoke a Texas license. Rather they can suspend Alaska driving privileges and notify Texas, which may well take a license action of its own.

Posted

Legally, they can extradite. Even if they do not, the warrant will cause you problems in other states if you get into trouble there. At a minimum it will increase any bail you would have to post.

If you refused a test, there will be a finding on that, without you there. That may count as a DUI on your record in other states.

You can hire an Alaska lawyer to represent you. That would be very wise.

Texas may well take license action against you based on your DUI in Alaska. A Texas lawyer would know more about that. I believe that until Texas does so, your Texas license would remain valid.
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Scott Weymouth Lawrence

Scott Weymouth Lawrence

Posted

Technically, you are correct. Alaska will suspend his license In Alaska. Texas will then take action against his license based on the Alaska suspension. The affect is the same. I didn't see the need to describe that detail

Charles K. Kenyon Jr.

Charles K. Kenyon Jr.

Posted

I know of at least one state, Pennsylvania, that will take no action until the time comes for renewal.

Posted

I agree with other answering counsel. Alaska can extradite you but is unlikely to do so. An additional issue comes to mind when reading your question. How long have you resided in Washington? The DOL (hence local police agencies) is pretty picky about keeping your address up to date and obtaining a Washington license. If you are stopped here, you may be charged with several different offenses. Good luck.

Thomas A. Mackin

Thomas A. Mackin

Posted

If you want to keep a legal license, you will need to deal with the DOL in all three jurisdictions.

Posted

In order to resolve the warrant, you will need to return back to the court from where the warrant was was issued at some point. Alaska can extradite you on the warrant but I doubt they would for this type of case. I think the bigger issue is the license suspension you will face here in Washington due to the warrant. Contact an attorney in Alaska and get it cleared up.

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