What happens after one gets arrested in Illinois for a warrant from another State?

One common set of questions arise when someone has been arrested in the State of Illinois for a warrant that was issued by a judge from another State. This area of criminal law regards something commonly called extradition. It is the procedure that is laid out so that when one State wants to arrest someone who is in another State, there is a method in place to go about getting that person arrested and brought back to the State that issued the warrant.

This is to avoid police abusing their power by acting in a State where they don’t belong. For example, the State of Indiana does not want Illinois State Police roaming into Indiana and attempting to use their police powers in Indiana to, among other things, grab people and bring them back across State lines back into Illinois. It’s safe to say that Illinois feels the same way about Indiana State authorities using their authority the same (and improper way).

So when a warrant is issued by a (we’ll call it originating) State, the State of Illinois must respect that warrant, take that person into custody, and notify the originating State that Illinois believes they have the person that the originating State wants in their custody.

A defendant who is arrested under these circumstances does have some rights, and should have an experienced criminal defense lawyer to try to exercise those rights. One thing the defendant can do is fight extradition and ask for release. The grounds to do so are usually quite narrow, typically centered around the issue of whether Illinois has arrested the right person the originating State wants and whether the originating State has provided documentation showing the defendant is accused of a crime. A criminal defense lawyer is a must in these circumstances to try to show an Illinois judge that the defendant should immediately be released.

Another thing that the defendant can do through his attorney his request a bail hearing to show facts and circumstances that the defendant will promptly return to the originating State of his own accord to take care of the warrant and either fight the charges or negotiate a deal. That will most likely require that some money be posted as security to ensure that the Defendant won’t just ignore his obligation to appear in court.

One option is for the defendant to give up (or waive) his right to fight extradition. That starts a time limit for the originating State to bring him back. In serious felony cases, the originating State is going to make an immediate move to get the defendant. In relatively minor cases (like low level misdemeanors), the originating State may decide that it’s not worth the financial cost to go get the Defendant. If the originating State blows the time limit, then the Defendant will be released.

This choice to not get the Defendant does not mean that the case is over, or that they will get rid of the warrant. They won’t, and the defendant will still need to take care of the out of State case, otherwise, this process of being arrested and held will keep repeating itself.

Any Defendant in this position needs a high quality criminal defense lawyer for advice and for advocacy in court. The Law Office of William Wolf, LLC has plenty of experience handling extradition matters from orginating States and has nationwide contacts to learn legal problems face the client once he arrives in the originating State. 

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