What Happens if You Get an Out of State Warrant for Arrest?

Finding out that you have an out-of-state warrant for your arrest can be a stressful experience, and it’s likely to leave you feeling uneasy. This legal situation is complex because of the involvement of multiple jurisdictions – the state where the alleged crime occurred and the state you’re currently in. 

It’s critical to understand what happens when you have this type of warrant so you know what to expect. 

How Does Someone Get an Out of State Arrest Warrant?

An out of state arrest warrant is issued when a person believed to have committed a crime leaves or moves from the state where they allegedly broke the law. This can be before charges are lodged or after, and it propels action across state borders to enforce justice. 

These types of arrest warrants are usually issued in the following circumstances:


If the police conclude from an investigation that you committed a crime – domestic violence, for example – during your visit or while living in the state, a judge could issue an arrest warrant for you. If you are no longer in that state, it would become an out of state arrest warrant. Additionally, violation of parole or probation conditions can also lead to an arrest warrant.

Failure to Appear

Another common way to get an out-of-state arrest warrant is by failing to appear for a court hearing. If you were due in court for any reason and failed to show up, the presiding judge may issue an arrest warrant.

You Can Be Arrested in a Different State Than the One Issuing the Warrant

It’s critical to be aware that an out-of-state warrant gives law enforcement the ability to arrest you in a different state than the one that issued the warrant. 

The National Crime Information Center (NCIC), maintained by the FBI, enables law enforcement agencies across states to input details of outstanding warrants into a centralized database. 

While it isn’t mandatory for every agency to input all their warrants into this database, most elect in favor of doing so.

If an officer stops you in one state, they will run your name and information and will be able to see if you have warrants in any other state. 

What Happens When You’re Stopped by Police and a Warrant Pops Up?

If you’re stopped by law enforcement in one state – let’s say Rhode Island – and an out of state warrant for your arrest shows up – from New York. You will likely be detained and held in custody while New York is notified. This paves the way for what’s known as an extradition hearing. 

Extradition Hearing

An extradition hearing is a legal procedure that aims to transfer the accused person from the state that detained them back to the state that issued the warrant. For example, the goal could be to transfer you from Rhode Island back to New York – the state that issued your arrest warrant in the first place.

If New York wants you returned to the state to face charges, the governor’s office will write up and send a demand for your extradition, including all relevant charging documents.

Upon receiving these documents, officials from Rhode Island carefully cross-check and verify their legitimacy. Once verified, the governor’s office of Rhode Island issues its own arrest warrant to ensure your lawful detention within their jurisdiction until you can be extradited. 

Waiving Extradition Rights

Opting to waive your extradition rights generally speeds up this legal process. By waiving these rights, you admit the warrant is valid and agree to be transported back to the requesting state immediately.  However, you are not admitting guilt to the crime you’re charged with in the other state.

Upon receiving confirmation that you have waived your extradition rights, the requesting state customarily has up to 30 days in which they are obligated to make transportation arrangements. At this point, you will be brought back to the requesting state to fight your charges. 

If the requesting state fails to pick you up within this time frame, the arresting state can release you from custody. 

A Rhode Island Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help With an Out of State Warrant 

Navigating the intricacies of an out of state arrest warrant or the extradition process can be incredibly confusing. If you become aware that there’s a warrant for your arrest or if law enforcement takes you into custody, it’s imperative to call a lawyer immediately. 

Contact Our Criminal Defense Law Firm – Manosh Payette, LLC

For more information, please contact the Providence Criminal defense law firm of Manosh Payette, LLC for a free consultation, give us a call at 401-854-7794 or visit our convenient location:

Manosh Payette, LLC – Providence Criminal Defense Attorney
101 Dyer St Suite 2D,
Providence, RI 02903, United States