What happens in Vegas does not always stay in Vegas, or Nevada for that matter.
When a judge issues a bench warrant, the person who faces the bench warrant goes into the interstate computer network. Just a simple traffic violation can alert law enforcement to the existence of the bench warrant, which can lead to the arrest of the person who faces the bench warrant.
If you have a bench warrant issued for you by a jurisdiction in Nevada, you should speak with a California criminal defense attorney to determine the best course of legal action.
What is a Bench Warrant?
Also referred to as a “body attachment,” a bench warrant is one of the most common types of warrants issued in Nevada. A judge issues the warrant from “the bench” not because someone is suspected of a crime, but because the person has failed to pay a fine, appear in court, and/or obey a court order.
A bench warrant issued in Nevada for a California resident means law enforcement has the legal power to arrest the California resident. However, the state that issues a bench warrant might not want to extradite a California resident back to the state to stand in front of a judge. Since Nevada borders California, it is more likely for The Silver State to extradite a California resident for a bench warrant than a state that is located hundreds of miles away.
What Does Extradition Mean?
Extradition refers to the formal legal process of moving a criminal suspect or a convicted felon from one state to another state. A judge issues an order for extradition to return a fugitive to the state where the fugitive committed a crime. Extradition can also happen for someone who faces a bench warrant. The state that contemplates issuing a bench warrant for someone living in another state has to consider the financial cost of completing the extradition process.
What is the Extradition Process from California?
The process of extraditing a California resident who faces a bench warrant issued in Nevada starts when a Nevada judge requests the extradition of the California resident. In this case, the law refers to Nevada as the “Home” state, while California is called the “asylum” state. Agents from Nevada bring the California resident back to Nevada to face a judge. California law requires a state like Nevada to send a “proper demand” to the California jurisdiction where the person facing the bench warrant is held. After returning the person back to Nevada, a judge conducts a probable cause hearing to ensure the California resident extradited back to Nevada has not been falsely accused.
Can a Criminal Defense Lawyer Get a Bench Warrant Recalled?
Most California jurisdictions do not drop a bench warrant. A California resident facing a bench warrant typically has to take care of the bench warrant by appearing in the court that issued the warrant. Any California resident facing a bench warrant in Nevada has to appear in the Nevada court to ask for the warrant to be recalled.
A California criminal defense attorney has three ways to recall a bench warrant:
- Argue the client never received a legal notice to appear in court
- Claim the client met all the legal obligations mandated by a court order
- Argue the client did not know about the bench warrant
Although a bench warrant is not for committing a crime, a judge might request extradition and force the person who was extradited to spend time in jail until the person meets the state’s conditions. You do not want to look over your shoulder every day wondering when a bench warrant is going to send you to Nevada to stand in front of a judge
Be proactive by calling the Chambers Law Firm at 714-760-4088.