Extradition to Nevada is when police arrest you in another state for being a suspected fugitive of Nevada, and you are brought back to Nevada to face criminal charges. Extradition is a complicated procedure involving interstate cooperation between law enforcement agencies.
Here are five key things to know:
- You can generally be held in custody for 30 days in the arresting state before Nevada police have to bring you back to Nevada.
- In minor cases, it may be possible for you to be released on bail in the arresting state while you fight extradition.
- Sometimes it is in your best interest to “waive extradition” and return to Nevada immediately.
- Since extradition is costly, Nevada law enforcement typically only seeks to extradite people facing serious charges.
- Common defenses to extradition are that the extradition documents are flawed or that the police arrested the wrong person.
In this article, our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys discuss:
- 1. What is extradition to Nevada?
- 2. How does it work?
- 3. Can I be released on bail while awaiting extradition?
- 4. How long can I be held in the asylum state before being extradited to Nevada?
- 5. What if I am also facing criminal charges in the asylum state?
- 6. Do all fugitives from Nevada get extradited?
- 7. What are the defenses to extradition to Nevada?
- Additional resources
See our related article on extradition from Nevada.
1. What is extradition to Nevada?
Extradition to Nevada is the legal mechanism whereby police in another state arrest you in that state and surrender you to Nevada so that you can answer to criminal charges. For example,
Tom commits robbery in Nevada and flees to Utah. Through extradition Utah police can arrest Tom and transfer him back to be charged with robbery (and fugitive charges as well).
There are several types of fugitives that may be extradited to Nevada. These include:
- Suspects who allegedly break the law and then escape to another state before they can be arrested, charged or sentenced, or
- Inmates who escape from jail or prison to another state, or
- People who violate bail and go to another state, or
- People who violate their parole or probation terms and go to another state, or
- People who go to a different state with no knowledge that they have a warrant in Nevada. It is typical for these people to first learn of the warrant when a police officer pulls them over for a traffic violation and they run a check on them.1
2. How does it work?
The first step is for law enforcement in Nevada (the “home” or “demanding state”) to send certain documentation to the state where you currently are (the “asylum state” or “arresting state”). This documentation usually includes an affidavit, judgment, or indictment that charges you with a crime.
Then the governor of the asylum state issues a governor’s warrant, and you will be arrested. What happens next depends on the particular state’s laws.
In general, you can either “waive extradition” and return to Nevada without protest. Or else you will challenge the extradition and stay in the asylum state pending a hearing on the matter.
Note that most states including Nevada follow the Uniform Criminal Extradition Act (“UCEA”), which governs how interstate extradition operates. The Nevada version of the UCEA appears under NRS 179.2
3. Can I be released on bail while awaiting extradition?
It depends on the asylum state’s particular laws and policies. Though the more serious the alleged criminal charge, the less likely the court will grant bail.
4. How long can I be held in the asylum state before being extradited to Nevada?
In general, suspected fugitive may be held pending extradition for no more than 30 days. Though this time period may be extended for various reasons.3
5. What if I am also facing criminal charges in the asylum state?
It depends on your case. The asylum state’s governor has the discretion to keep you instate pending the local criminal matters or return you to Nevada first.
6. Do all fugitives from Nevada get extradited?
No. Extradition is extremely expensive because the state has to pay for much of the cost of incarcerating you in the asylum state.
7. What are the defenses to extradition to Nevada?
There are two common defenses we use to fight extradition:
- The extradition paperwork such as the governor’s warrant has fatal errors that render the extradition invalid.
- You are, in fact, a victim of mistaken identity and are not the person authorities are looking for.
We may also try to file a “writ of habeas corpus” alleging that the original arrest was invalid.
Either way, you should retain local counsel familiar with the asylum state’s extradition rules.
For more information on extradition laws, refer to these articles:
- U.S. Constitution Article IV, Section 2, Clause 2 (“Extradition Clause”) – Constitution Annotated
- Definition of Extradition – Interstate Commission for Adult Offender Supervision
- Interstate Agreement on Detainers – Criminal Resource Manual 543(E)
- NRS 179.177 to NRS 179.235. See, for example, Smith v. State (Court of Appeals of Nevada, 2023) 526 P.3d 1114; Gould v. State (Nev. 2022) 518 P.3d 482.
- See, for example, NRS 179.207.