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How Do I Take Care of an Out-of-State Warrant?

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Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Lawyer - Skinner Law FirmIf you have a warrant pending for a criminal charge in another state, Pennsylvania will execute the warrant on that state’s behalf. Once local authorities verify that they have identified the right person, there really is no simple way to just take care of the warrant and the criminal charge it represents. Instead, the arresting agency’s primary duty is to turn you over to the authorities who first authorized your arrest. If the warrant-issuing state doesn’t drop the pending criminal charges, you must return to that state to resolve them.

Local law enforcement authorities handle criminal prosecutions triggered by an out-of-state warrant just as they would an in-state case. They may arrest and detain you, and schedule an arraignment in a local court. The charges against you will be explained in court, and you may then be able to determine how to move forward.

The local courts process you into the criminal justice system, but they will not prosecute you unless you have also committed crimes in Pennsylvania. The local authorities will keep you in custody or under court supervision until the other state completes the extradition process.

You Have the Right to Have an Attorney Represent You

When you are arrested on an out-of-state warrant, your presence in the Pennsylvania justice system is considered temporary. However, it is still a criminal proceeding, and it has the potential to derail your life. For that reason, you have a right to legal representation, and you should speak to an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.

Attorney Michael J. Skinner began his practice in criminal law while working as an Assistant District Attorney in Chester County, Pennsylvania. Mike understands the system, and his experience as a prosecutor means he has criminal defense knowledge that his clients need. He is available to review your out-of-state warrant case, and he may be able to help ensure you get the best possible outcome.

What Happens When You’re Arrested on an Out-of-State Warrant?

When a Pennsylvania officer makes an arrest based on an out-of-state warrant, they will have done so on the belief that the warrant is valid. The arresting authority will handle your case just as they would any other criminal arrest. The court will schedule an arraignment, and the charges against you will be filed based on available information.

After you have been processed into the local criminal system, the authorities will follow the extradition guidelines outlined in the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes:

  • After the initial hearing and charges, the extradition process will proceed.
  • The authorities may hold you in a county jail pending transmission of an indictment and/or documentation of your crime.
  • If your alleged crime is minor, the state that issued the warrant may decide that extradition is too costly and choose not to prosecute you.
  • If the state sends proper documentation, the governor will issue a “Governor’s Warrant.”
  • The state that requested the arrest then has 30 days to transport you back to their jurisdiction.
  • If you have additional crimes pending in Pennsylvania, the local court may choose to either prosecute or extradite you.
  • The extradition process may be complicated, and is subject to continuances and delays.

What Can a Criminal Defense Attorney Do?

Dealing with an out-of-state warrant may seem like a mere formality, but it can have long-term consequences. If the state that issued the warrant has not yet tried your case, the extradition may be just the beginning of a lengthy process. Your defense attorney can explain your options, and will work to manage your extradition. Additionally, they may also:

  • Dispute the charges and fight the extradition;
  • Defend you against additional local charges;
  • Push for a release from jail early in the extradition process;
  • Argue for reduced bail;
  • Help you decide if an extradition waiver is your best option; and/or
  • Help you resolve unpaid court fines or child support payments.

Will You Qualify for Release on Bail?

While you are awaiting extradition pursuant to an out-of-state warrant, you may be entitled to release on bail. If the warrant describes a crime that may not be penalized by the death penalty or a life sentence the court may authorize bail, but usually with the provision that it is backed by an appropriate surety bond.

What Happens When You Waive Extradition?

The unpredictable extradition process may can take months to complete. You have the option of speeding up the process by waiving your extradition rights. A waiver does not require you to admit fault; it is simply an agreement to return to the issuing state voluntarily so that you minimize your waiting time.

An extradition waiver may be the right option for you if the court won’t release you on bail, or you are unable to pay the bail amount. Instead of waiting in a local jail while the court and the warrant-issuing state work out your extradition, you can take some control in moving the process forward.

Why Would Another State Issue a Warrant for Your Arrest?

States may issue a warrant in connection with new, pending, or previously adjudicated criminal cases. They may deem the warrant necessary to locate you for prosecution or case disposition. It might also be a response to your failure to comply with court-ordered actions, such as:

  • Failure to meet the terms of a parole or probation;
  • Failure to appear for a criminal proceeding;
  • Escape from confinement;
  • Arrest for a new crime; and/or
  • Failure to pay court fines, fees, or child support.

What Gives Pennsylvania the Authority to Make an Arrest on an Out-Of-State Warrant?

Pennsylvania has the authority and duty to act on an out-of-state warrant under state and federal law. A Pennsylvania statute, also known as the Uniform Criminal Extradition Act as it complies with the national standard, establishes the state’s duties and responsibilities to arrest and detain a person subject to extradition. The United States Constitution outlines the duty to extradite under Article IV, Section 2, while Federal criminal codes also contain provisions that require states to comply with extradition proceedings.

Criminal Defense Attorney in West Chester Pennsylvania

If you have an out-of-state warrant, speak to an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. As a former Chester County assistant district attorney, Michael J. Skinner knows Pennsylvania criminal law and understands the justice system. Contact Skinner Law Firm today at (610) 436-1410 or online to schedule a free consultation and learn if we may be able to help you.

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Social Media Mistakes to Avoid After a DUI

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Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Lawyer - Skinner Law FirmTechnology has enabled an increasingly interconnected world. Billions of people now carry devices with them that allow them to instantly access the internet and social media platforms that boast millions of users. Easy mass communication with family, friends, and social communities, regardless of where they are, is now common.

Many people enjoy posting large amounts of information about themselves online, including photos, achievements, opinions, videos, and more. While sharing information and getting positive feedback can be fun and even addictive, there are risks with such behavior, particularly in certain situations.

If you are charged with driving under the influence (DUI), you need to take a social media break. There are many reasons to do so, but first and foremost is anything you post online, regardless of privacy settings, may be used by law enforcement in the case against you. Additionally, current and potential employers may view your pictures and comments, and decline to offer you professional opportunities. Finally, intentionally protecting your privacy may enable you to better protect your reputation and your future.

Being arrested for a DUI can be a stressful and even frightening experience. You may be anxious and worried about what will happen next. The fact is, some things are outside of your control. However, what you put online is not one of them. Do what you can to ensure you have the best possible defense and outcomes.

When, Where, and How to Use Photos

You may have been in a car accident at the time of your DUI arrest. If that is the case, you may have taken or have access to photographs of the accident, damaged vehicles or property, and any injuries for insurance purposes. Such photos are useful for necessary investigations, and may help establish liability and damages. However, under no circumstance should you post any of these images on a social media platform or online. Doing so may have inadvertent consequences, from providing new evidence in the criminal case against you to increasing your liability in a related civil case.

The self-imposed restriction on posting photos should not be limited to the DUI incident itself. It should also include no photos of you partying, consuming alcohol, or otherwise behaving as though you are not serious and remorseful about the actions that caused your DUI. State prosecutors will thoroughly investigate your online footprint. They may view your social media accounts, and those of anyone else who may know you and has tagged your image. Do not provide any fuel for the case against you.

The legal team at Skinner Law Firm has other tips about photographs that can help you to avoid the worst possible outcomes for your case. Contact us today to learn more.

“No Comment” Is Best

Some people who are facing legal issues will intentionally avoid making comments on their own social media but still freely comment elsewhere. Do not make this mistake. Any comment you make, regardless of whether it is on your account or someone else’s, can harm your defense and help the prosecutors making the case against you.

Do not make any comments, anywhere, about drinking, drinking and driving, or law enforcement. Saying nothing is the best way to ensure you do not further damage your reputation, impune your own character, or accidentally imply you have no remorse.

The importance of silence online for your defense cannot be overstated. If you find it difficult or even impossible to stay off of social media, and you are irresistibly tempted to engage with photos or comments, you should delete your accounts. This may seem drastic; however, you can always create new accounts later, after the court has disposed of your DUI charges.

“Private” Doesn’t Really Mean Private

There are serious, and some still unresolved, legal issues around data, privacy, and ownership of the information available on social media platforms. The privacy settings you use, or think you are using, for your accounts and profiles on various social media sites does not mean they are actually private, or that prosecutors will not be able to access all of your information. In fact, you should never consider anything done online as absolutely secure, private, protected, or undiscoverable during a criminal investigation. This rule applies for your own social media accounts, those of people who may know you, and for anything you post elsewhere. Given this reality, the best thing you can do for yourself is to control what you post and what you share. Never assume or trust social media sites are protecting you and your information, or that “private” is actually private.

Get the Help You Need From the Skinner Law Firm

If you are charged with DUI, you need to do everything you can to help yourself. Don’t use social media, and do get an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side. Whether this is your first, second, or third DUI offense, you have the right to an attorney who will make every applicable defense and zealously advocate for you, your rights, and your future.

Michael J. Skinner is an experienced criminal defense lawyer, and as a former Assistant District Attorney, he has also prosecuted DUI cases in the past. He therefore has a deep understanding of how the prosecution works, and the strategies they use to try to prove their cases.

Since Michael J. Skinner has been in the shoes of the prosecutor, his knowledge is invaluable to his clients. Past clients have entrusted him to help them get through some of the most challenging times in their lives, and you can read what they have said about their experiences with him and the legal team at Skinner Law Firm.

Facing a DUI charge can be a daunting experience, but you do not have to face it alone. Hire an advocate who will work hard for you, and get the best possible outcome for your case. Contact Skinner Law Firm today at (610) 436-1410 or online to schedule a free consultation and learn if we may be able to help you.

Posted in Drunk Driving / DUI | Tagged | Comments Off on Social Media Mistakes to Avoid After a DUI
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