Yes, Arizona does extradite suspected fugitives for probation violations. In practice, Arizona police typically only go after defendants who fled the state after allegedly committing felony probation violations. Defendants who flee Arizona after allegedly committing misdemeanor probation violations will likely not be extradited back to Arizona. But a bench warrant will be issued, and the defendant may be arrested if he/she returns to Arizona.
What is a probation violation?
Like it sounds, a probation violation is when a defendant breaks one or more terms of his/her probation agreement. Judges grant defendants probation instead of jail on the condition that the defendant abide by all the probationary terms.
If a defendant allegedly violates the terms of his/her probation, then the defendant is entitled to a probation violation hearing. There, the defendant can argue that no violation occurred. If the judge agrees, the defendant will stay on probation. If the judge finds that there indeed was a violation, then the judge may give the defendant a second chance. But the judge has full discretion to revoke probation and remand the defendant to jail or prison, depending on the case.
Ten common probation terms include:
- Checking in with the P.O. (probation officer);
- Restitution payments to the victim;
- Abstaining from alcohol and drugs, submitting to drug tests, and completing rehab for drugs and alcohol;
- Community service;
- Attending counseling;
- Abiding by a curfew and submitting to random searches by police;
- Avoiding certain locations and people (like the victims);
- Staying out of trouble (avoiding further arrests other than minor traffic tickets);
- Electronic monitoring;
- House arrest / home confinement.
Defendants in misdemeanor cases would get misdemeanor probation (a.k.a. summary probation). And defendants in felony cases would get felony probation, which is more intensive than summary probation. Depending on the case, felony probation can last three years to life.
How do people get extradited to Arizona for a probation violation?
If an Arizona defendant leaves the state and is suspected of violating felony probation, Arizona law enforcement will likely pursue him/her through extradition.
First, the prosecuting attorney would submit a formal request to the governor’s office of the state where the defendant is residing (“asylum state”). This rendition application must include the following:
- The defendant’s name and aliases
- List of the defendant’s crimes
- Sentencing order/judgment
- Probation violation report
- An order to vacate probation and issue a bench warrant
- The defendant’s booking photo with photo affidavit, and/or a certified fingerprint card
- An Executive Agreement
The governor of the asylum state then signs a governor’s warrant, permitting law enforcement in that state to arrest the suspected fugitive (if he/she is not already in custody). The suspected fugitive is entitled to a hearing to fight extradition. But many people choose to waive extradition to expedite the criminal process.
If the person loses the hearing or waives extradition, transportation arrangements will be made. And eventually, the person will be returned to Arizona for a probation revocation hearing. If the person loses the hearing, he/she will likely be remanded to prison.