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Can someone be extradited to another state on misdemeanor warrants and bail jumping?

Manchester, NH |

My ex-boyfriend had warrants out for him for assault, false imprisonment, and a bunch of marijuana charges (all misdemeanors). He was arrested, but got out of jail the next day after his lawyer got his bail lowered to $1000. After he got out, my ex-boyfriend disappeared down to Florida (we don't talk anymore but he has a public Facebook where he talks about being in Florida now). I just saw in the local paper that he has warrants for the original charges, plus for violation of bail conditions. If he gets stopped by police in Florida, will they arrest and extradite them, or do they only extradite for felonies? I also heard that Florida doesn't extradite, is that true?

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Attorney answers 2


Yes, they will arrest and hold himfor about 10 days. It is up to the state that has the warrant out for him to come pick him up and extradite him.

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Practically speaking, extradition involves the arresting authority in Florida and the seeking authority in New Hampshire.

Suppose a person is stopped for a motor vehicle offense in Florida and the police discover that there is a misdemeanor arrest warrant in New Hampshire for him. The Florida police officer would likely apprehend the person. He would be held as a "fugitive from justice" in order to bring him before a Florida judge. The FL police would then contact NH authorities to find out whether NH was willing to extradite him.

Whether NH decides to extradite is often a question of seriousness of the crime, time, effort, and cost. By way of example, NH authorities must pay the cost of transportation to have the county sheriff deliver the fugitive back to the Granite State. This is one reason why NH does not always choose to bring fugitives back to the state who are charged with misdemeanors alone. However, there are times when a NH county attorney may specifically authorize the return of a fugitive because of his prior record and/or the severity of the misdemeanor offenses. Or there may be times when the federal US Marshal can easily and cheaply pick up the offender in Florida so that there is little cost to NH authorities to retrieve the offender.

If NH chooses to extradite, the fugitive will be held in Florida for a reasonable time to allow NH authorities to come and retrieve him. The fugitive can fight extradition, in which case a NH Governor's Warrant is issued and a formal court process occurs in Florida. Or the fugitive can waive extradition and simply allow NH authorities to pick him up. The fugitive does not receive credit for time he spends in custody out of state should he ultimately be sentenced to jail time in NH.

If NH declines to extradite, the fugitive is let go. However, he may still be arrested in other jurisdictions in the future and would have to go through the process described above.

A fugitive who is remains wanted will have a default placed on his license, which is generally honored in all 50 states. That means when the fugitive goes to renew the driver's license, it cannot be renewed so long as the fugitive is wanted. Many fugitives who have been wanted for years on misdemeanor crimes turn themselves to NH authorities simply because they want to clear matters up so that they can get a license.

Finally, a person who knowingly harbors a fugitive may be subject to criminal prosecution.

Note: The above is general information only. It does not constitute formal legal advice or form an attorney-client relationship. You should discuss your specific legal situation with a licensed attorney.

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