If a person allegedly commits a crime in Nevada and then flees to another state, Nevada authorities may try to “extradite” that person back. The person should hire a lawyer in both states for bail release and to protect his/her rights during the extradition process.
This article provides an overview of how extradition to Nevada operates. To learn about extradition from Nevada where suspected fugitives found here are transferred to other states, go to our article on extradition from Nevada.
What is extradition to Nevada?
Extradition to Nevada is the legal mechanism whereby police in another state arrest someone in that state and surrender him/her to Nevada so that person 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 he/she 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 cop pulls them over for a traffic violation and he/she runs a check on them.
How does “extradition to Nevada” work in Las Vegas?
The first step is for law enforcement in Nevada (the “home” or “demanding state”) to send certain documentation to the state where the suspected fugitive currently is (the “asylum state”). This documentation usually includes an affidavit, judgment, or indictment that charges the suspected fugitive with a crime.
Then the governor of the asylum state issues a governor’s warrant, and the suspected fugitive will be arrested. What happens next depends on the particular state’s laws. But in general the suspected fugitive can either “waive extradition” and return to Nevada without protest. Or else he/she 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.
Can someone facing extradition to Nevada be released on bail in the asylum state pending extradition?
It depends on the asylum’s state particular laws and policies.
How long can a suspected fugitive be held in the asylum state before being extradited to Nevada?
In general a suspected fugitive may be held pending extradition for no more than thirty (30) days. But this time period may be extended for various reasons.
What if a suspected fugitive from Nevada also faces criminal charges in the asylum state?
The asylum state’s governor retains the discretion either to keep the suspect instate pending the local criminal matters or to return him/her to Nevada first.
Do all fugitives from Nevada get extradited?
No. Extradition is extremely costly because the state has to pay for much of the cost of incarcerating the suspect in the asylum state. Consequently, Nevada rarely tries to extradite people suspected of only misdemeanors. It is more likely Nevada will try to extradite people suspected of felonies or escaped prisoners.
What are the defenses to extradition to Nevada?
There are two common defenses a suspected fugitive typically uses to fight extradition. The first is to argue that the extradition paperwork such as the governor’s warrant has fatal errors that render the extradition invalid. The second is that the suspected fugitive is, in fact, a victim of mistaken identity and is not the person authorities are looking for.
Suspected fugitives being detained in other states are encouraged to retain local counsel familiar with that state’s extradition rules. An attorney may also try to file a “writ of habeas corpus” alleging that the original arrest was invalid.
Call a lawyer . . . .
If you are facing extradition to Nevada, phone Las Vegas Criminal Defense Attorneys for a consultation. They may be able to work with your lawyers in the asylum state to show that any extradition would be illegal. And if you are transferred back here, they may be able to get you released on bail.
In California? Refer to our informational webpage on California Extradition Laws.