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Extradition to Texas

Our criminal defense attorneys are experienced with helping clients being held out of state while awaiting extradition back to the State of Texas as a fugitive. We also represent clients who are held in Texas while awaiting extradition to another state. Many of these cases involve a felony warrant for violation of probation. Other cases involve a new felony offense. The vast majority of misdemeanor warrants are not subject to extradition.

The court in the asylum state or the demanding state can grant bond. A criminal defense attorney can begin investigating possible defenses and fighting for the best result in the case. Our first goal is to determine if the person can be released prior to being extradited so the person can just voluntarily travel to 

Call a criminal defense attorney in San Antonio, TX, at Goldstein, Goldstein, Hilley & Orr to discuss the case. We represent clients in Bexar County, TX, and throughout the State of Texas in serious felony cases.


Uniform Criminal Extradition Act (UCEA)

Texas has adopted the Uniform Criminal Extradition Act. The UCEA is codified as Code of Criminal Procedure article 51.13.

It provides that “it is the duty of the Governor of this State to have arrested and delivered up to the Executive Authority of any other State of the United States any person charged in that State with treason, felony, or other crime, who has fled from justice and is found in this State.” Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Ann. art. 51.13, § 2.


When Texas is the Demanding State - Awaiting Extradition to Texas

If your loved one is being help in another state and awaiting extradition to Texas, then call us to discuss your case. The first priority is usually hiring an attorney in the state where the warrant was issued. If the extradition does occur, then a criminal defense attorney will be needed in that jurisdiction to defend the case. Even if the extradition does not occur, the warrant will generally remain outstanding until the individual surrenders on the warrant. Even if released, the individual could be arrested again and held for extradition.

In most cases, the attorney in the demanding state can talk with the prosecutor about stipulating to a lower bond. Alternatively, the court could provide relief allowing the person to be released in the asylum state so that the person can return voluntarily to Texas to surrender on the warrant. Either way, the criminal defense attorney can begin investigating potential defenses and fighting the charges for the best possible resolution.


When Texas is the Asylum State - Awaiting Extradition to Another State

Certain time limits exist in extradition cases that prohibit a person from being held in jail for longer than permitted by those time limits. For instance, if the Governor's Warrant had not been formally issued and extradition is not waived, then the trial court is permitted to extend the incarceration for thirty days. See Tex. Code. Crim. Proc. Ann. art. 51.13, Section 7.

The court also has the discretion to extend the incarceration for another sixty days if the warrant has still had not been issued. See id. art. 51.13 Section 17. If the Governor's warrant is not produced within that tie period, then the person must be released from custody.

The purpose of § 3 of article 51.13, is to present a showing that the person was properly charged with a crime in the regular course of judicial proceedings.” Ex parte Morales, 810 S.W.2d 470, 473 (Tex.App.-Amarillo 1991, no pet.).

Section 3 explains the requirements for the requesting state's form of demand:

No demand for the extradition of a person charged with crime in another State shall be recognized by the Governor unless in writing, alleging ... that the accused was present in the demanding State at the time of the commission of the alleged crime, and that thereafter he fled from the State, and accompanied by a copy of an indictment found or by information supported by affidavit in the State having jurisdiction of the crime, or by a copy of an affidavit before a magistrate there, together with a copy of any warrant which issued thereupon; or by a copy of a judgment of conviction or of a sentence imposed in execution thereof, together with a statement by the Executive Authority of the demanding State that the person claimed has escaped from confinement or has broken the terms of his bail, probation, or parole ... all such copies of the aforesaid instruments shall be in duplicate, one complete set of such instruments to be delivered to the defendant or to his attorney.

Tex.Code Crim. Proc. Ann. art. 51.13 § 3 (West 2006).

The United States Supreme Court has held that “[a] governor's grant of extradition is prima facie evidence that the constitutional and statutory requirements have been met.” Michigan v. Doran, 439 U.S. 282, 288-89 (1978). The Court also held that “once the governor of the asylum state has acted on a requisition for extradition based on the demanding state's judicial determination that probable cause existed, no further judicial inquiry may be had on that issue in the asylum state.” Id. at 290.


Habeas Corpus to Challenge Extradition

When an application for writ of habeas corpus is filed, a court in the asylum state must determine only whether the requisites of the Uniform Criminal Extradition Act, Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Ann. art. 51.13 (West 2006) have been met. A habeas corpus proceeding challenging extradition is “intended to be limited in scope in order to facilitate a swift and efficient transfer of custody to the demanding state.” Ex parte Potter, 21 S.W.3d 290, 294 (Tex.Crim.App.2000).

When a governor has granted extradition, a court considering an application for writ of habeas corpus may only consider the following four issues:

  • “(a) whether the extradition documents on their face are in order;
  • (b) whether the petitioner has been charged with a crime in the demanding state;
  • (c) whether the petitioner is the person named in the request for extradition; and
  • (d) whether the petitioner is a fugitive.”

Michigan v. Doran, 439 U.S. 282, 289, 99 S.Ct. 530, 535, 58 L.Ed.2d 521 (1978).

After the governor's warrant has been produced and is introduced into evidence, then the burden shifts to the accused to show the warrant was not legally issued, was not based on proper authority, or contains inaccurate recitals. See Ex parte Cain, 592 S.W.2d 359, 362 (Tex.Crim.App.1980). The accused opposing extradition may offer into evidence any of the papers that were used to support the warrant in an attempt to show a defect. See id. at 362.


What is Extradition?

Extradition is the surrender by one state to another of an individual charged with or convicted of an offense outside its own territory and within the territorial jurisdiction of the other.

Texas will often note on the NCIC certain limitations on extradition including:

  • EXTR ADJACENT STATES ONLY
  • EXTR WEST OF MISS ONLY
  • EXTR WITHIN 1000 MILES ONLY

Other warrants do not meet Texas' definition of extradition. For examples, most misdemeanors are not eligible for extradition. EXL Codes used in Texas include:

  • 1 -FULL EXTRADITION UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED IN THE MIS FIELD
  • 2 -LIMITED EXTRADITION SEE MIS FIELD
  • 3 -EXTRADITION - SURROUNDING STATES ONLY
  • 4 -NO EXTRADITION
  • 5 -EXTRADITION ARRANGEMENTS PENDING SEE MIS FIELD
  • 6 -PENDING EXTRADITION DETERMINATION

Additional Resources

Extradition to Bexar County, TX - The Criminal Warrants Section of the Bexar County Sheriff's Office in San Antonio, TX, is responsible for tracking and verifying warrants. The BCSO's warrant section is also responsible for the transportation of individuals arrested outside of Bexar County including extraditions from outside the State of Texas. The Extradition Transport Section of the Bexar County Sheriff's Office travels all over the United States picking up prisoners who have been arrested by other law enforcement agencies on arrest warrants issued in Bexar County. Deputies in the Extradition Transport Section work a very flexible schedule due to travel. With it is more cost-effective, the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office also uses the services of a private company to transport prisoners back to the Bexar County Sheriff's Office in San Antonio.

International Extradition From Mexico to Texas - Article published by the Texas District & County Attorneys Association discussing to ways to extradite a fugitive charged with a serious criminal felony offense in Texas who flees to Mexico to avoid prosecution. Find out more about the extradition treaty signed with Mexico on May 4, 1978, and the process to extradite a person from that country. The article discusses obtaining a provisional arrest warrant through the Department of Justice, the Secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores, and the Procuraduria General de la Republica or Mexican Attorney General’s Office.


Finding an Extradition Defense Attorney in San Antonio, TX

If your loved one is awaiting extradition to San Antonio, Bexar County, or the surrounding areas then call the criminal defense attorneys at Goldstein, Goldstein, Hilley & Orr. We represent clients in a wide variety of extradition cases throughout the State of Texas when Texas is the demanding state or the asylum state.

Whether you have an outstanding warrant for a felony or misdemeanor offense in Bexar County, TX, we can help you resolve the warrant in the most convenient way possible. Don't face an extradition alone. Let us put our experience to work for you.

Call today to discuss your case.