Having to face criminal charges can already bring about a great deal of stress. However, if you are arrested for a crime in a different state than the one you consider your state of primary residence, you may find it incredibly difficult to mount an effective defense of your rights, freedom, and future. When you are arrested while visiting another state, it is important that you understand your rights and obligations.
What Happens When You Commit a Crime in Another State?
Typically, the state where the alleged criminal activity takes place is the state that has jurisdiction to prosecute. If you live in New Jersey but are arrested for reckless driving in New York, then you’ll be prosecuted in New York.
This can present significant logistical challenges if you are charged in a state that isn’t convenient for you to travel to. Normally, you’ll have to make certain court appearances during your case, including for an arraignment or initial hearing to deliver your plea to your charges. You may have to incur significant financial expenses traveling back and forth between your home state and the state where you’ve been charged or to temporarily reside in that state while you resolve your charges. This can have a major impact on your personal and professional life back home.
Can You Leave a State While Under Criminal Investigation?
If you are arrested on suspicion of a crime or if you are otherwise placed under criminal investigation in another state, you typically are allowed to return to your home state. However, just because you’re allowed to leave doesn’t mean you can ignore the criminal jeopardy you may be in. For example, if you leave the state after you’ve been arrested or formally placed under criminal investigation, it can actually extend the amount of time that law enforcement and prosecutors have to formally file criminal charges against you or to bring you to trial on charges.
In addition, if you return to your home state, the state where you’ve been charged can request that your home state detain you and transport you back to the other state to face your criminal charges. This is a process known as extradition. You may only end up being extradited if you have another encounter with law enforcement (even if you’re only pulled over for a traffic infraction), or the other state where you are facing charges may actively seek to have you detained and extradited.
Can You Leave After You’ve Been Charged?
Once you are formally charged with a crime in another state, your ability to leave that state may become significantly restricted. The trial court may order that you be subject to pretrial detention, meaning you will have to sit in a jail cell until your charges are dropped or until your trial. Even if you are released pre-trial, the trial court may order you to post bail, or a payment of cash, to ensure that you will return for your scheduled trial appearances. If you fail to appear for any reason, the trial court can order that you forfeit your bail and may also issue a warrant for your arrest, and once you’re back in custody you may be held in pretrial detention to ensure you appear throughout the rest of your trial.
Contact an Experienced Woodbridge Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Charges in New Jersey
Were you arrested or charged in New Jersey? The consequences of a conviction could be severe, leaving you with a permanent criminal record and possibly even sending you to jail. That is why you need to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible about your case. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Anthony J. Vecchio, LLC have successfully represented clients charged in Princeton, Freehold, Mount Laurel, Jersey City, and throughout New Jersey. Call (732) 334-7468 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team. We have an office conveniently located at 227 Main Street, Woodbridge, NJ 07095, as well as offices located in Freehold, Mount Laurel, Jersey City, and Princeton.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.