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What Does the Extradition Process Look Like in Virginia?

May 1, 2017

If you're arrested in Virginia on an outstanding out-of-state warrant, you will be brought before a General District Court judge. The out-of-state warrant can be for anything. You could have a warrant for felony murder or even misdemeanor DUI. Once you're arrested and brought before the Virginia General District Court judge, the judge will decide whether to give you a bond. There's a good chance you won't be given bond because you've fled from the state that issues an active warrant for your arrest. The judge will also ask whether you want to waive extradition or fight extradition. If you chose to waive extradition, the judge will order that you be held for a period of time until the other state comes to pick you up. If the other state fails to come pick you up, you will be released.

If you choose to fight extradition, the state that you are wanted out of will have to request that a Governor's warrant be issued. They will contact the Virginia Governor with the appropriate paperwork and request that he authorize your release to them. As long as the paperwork is in order, the governor of Virginia will issue paperwork requesting that you be released to the other state's authorities.

At this stage you still have one option. You can file a petition for habeas corpus in the Circuit Court. The only thing that you can challenge is the sufficiency of the Governor's warrant issues by the other state. You cannot challenge your treatment while you were previously incarcerated in the other state. You cannot try to attack the validity of your prior conviction. The only thing for you to do is challenge the legality of the Governor's warrant. It's a very narrow inquiry and very difficult to win.