The fundamental difference between a bail skip and a state extradition across state lines is the process. With the exception of the FBI sponsored Criminal Apprehension Teams (CAT) there are no organized attempt by state authorities to actively seek out and apprehend a fugitive. Jurisdictional boundaries prohibit proactive efforts if the suspect crosses state lines. Another factor is the prosecuting authority’s financial resources, i.e. budget. It costs money to extradite, and financial resources are sparse prohibiting active investigations concerning most interstate fugitives. Few extraditions are conducted from coast to coast. Many are limited to contiguous states boarding the state of jurisdiction.
Arrest Warrants & Governor’s Warrant of Extradition
With the exceptions of rape and homicide or an escapee from detention does the originating jurisdiction dedicate active resources to achieve apprehension. Again jurisdictional authority is the limiting factor. If the prosecuting attorney wishes to extradite he must first obtain an arrest warrant from the local court. He then submits for a Governor’s Warrant of Extradition. The governor can delegate this authority to sign a warrant but generally the State Attorney General’s is the designated issuing authority for the governor’s warrant. The warrant is then entered into the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC) system that nearly all law enforcement agencies have access too.
State Extradition Laws & Process
Many fugitives are caught during a traffic citation or accident investigation or some other misdemeanor event such as domestic violence or public nuisance. The officer then checks to confirm the warrant and the extent of the extradition, usually through their dispatch. On confirming the warrant the suspect is arrested for fugitive (state of Jurisdiction, i.e. Fugitive Colorado) and incarcerated pending an extradition hearing. He can waive extradition meaning he will not fight extradition and proceedings can be initiated to complete transfer to the issuing authority. Or the suspect can signal his intent to fight extradition at his preliminary extradition hearing. A judge can order extradition or set for a later trial or hearing. The original jurisdiction must send a representative, usually from the prosecutor’s office to argue the case. If the judge determines cause exists he can order extradition.
Jail Time for Failure to Appear in Court
But what is the case if the fugitive status is related to a bail skip, or a failure to appear. A warrant is issued, and the bail is forfeited. The bondsman is out the 90% bail amount as he usually collects and non refundable 10% for his fee. Say the bail was $10,000 it would represent a $9,000 loss to the bondsman and the insurance company that guarantied the bond. The bondsman has a vested interest in locating the fugitive and returning him to justice, as most courts will release the bond.
Waiver of Extradition Rights in Bail Bond Contracts
An interesting feature of most bonds and bond contracts it the waiver of extradition rights. Thus a bondsman can issue a contract for a Bail Enforcement Agent (bounty hunter) to locate, recover and transport the fugitive to the custody of original jurisdiction with no recourse reference extradition. Bail agents can transport a fugitive across state lines avoiding formal extradition proceeding.