If I Have a Warrant in One State, Will it Show Up in the System of Another State?


If I Have a Warrant in One State, Will it Show Up in the System of Another State?

If you have a warrant out for your arrest, you might be considering going to another state to escape prosecution. But would that actually work? Can agencies in another state find out that you have a warrant in your home state? Can your home state find out that you were the subject of a warrant in another state? And will either state enforce that warrant if they find out? Of course, as with all legal matters, it depends on the specifics of your case and only a qualified criminal defense attorney can help you make the right decisions. However, here are some general guidelines to consider.

Is it Worth it to Come Get You?

Coming to retrieve you in another state is not free for the agency that is doing the retrieving. It takes significant resources to retrieve somebody from another state. Some governments simply don’t find it worth it, especially if you have a warrant for something small. Even though you may show up in a database in another state, but doesn’t mean the officers in your home state will come and arrest you. However, it’s also not worth taking the risk. Be sure to consult with your criminal defense attorney to find out what the best option for you would be.

Type of Crime

In some cases, the type of crime you’re accused of committing makes all the difference in the world. While bench warrants can almost always be looked up by another state, no matter what state you’re in, it may not immediately show up if you’re accused of committing a minor crime. In other words, murderers are much likely to be arrested and extradited than someone who is accused of petty theft. However, severity is often subjective, so again, it’s worth it to bring the matter up to your defense attorney and not risk it on the hopes that the other state won’t find out.

NCIC Or Not?

The National Criminal Information Center, or NCIC, is a database for high-risk and high-end felonies. If you commit an act that warrants entry into that database, it will automatically flag you if you’re pulled over. Well mine are bench warrants might only come up after appointed search, if your warrant is in the NCIC you basically have no chance of hiding in another state.

Contiguous States

Again, extradition is expensive. If you didn’t commit a violent crime, it might be too expensive extradite you. This is particularly true if you’re not in a contiguous state. Some states have policies that they won’t extradite someone who isn’t in a bordering or contiguous state. While you could take that to mean that you can hide in a state as long as it’s not a neighboring state, it’s still risky to assume that that will get you out of trouble. You’ll have to ask  your criminal defense attorney about the state laws that apply in your state and whether or not this action will protect you.

Traffic Warrants

This part of the law might seem a little strange, but a traffic warrant is usually more widespread and harder to outrun than a bench warrant. Traffic warrants show up in multiple databases, meaning that it’s much easier to find and way more likely that the cop pulling you over will see that information. At that point, it’s almost a guarantee that your license will be suspended if not revoked. It may also raise your bail when you are arrested if you have a traffic warrant. Traffic and other warrants in which the state you’re from won’t extradite might even land you in jail in another state until the warrant runs out, resulting in a possibly worse situation than if you had just gone to court and defended yourself.

It’s never a wise decision to try to best the legal system on your own. Consult with an experienced defense attorney in your state to find out what the best option will be. Most of the time, defending yourself with adequate legal representation in a court of law is a much better decision than attempting to outrun the law. Technology is so sophisticated that outrunning a warrant is a near impossibility for most people. Consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney in your state today and take the first step down the road to protecting your rights, your freedom, and your future.


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