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Houston Attorney on Extradition to Texas

Texas Uniform Criminal Extradition Act Extraditions to Texas are governed by Title 1 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1965. Chapter 51 addresses the extradition of "fugitives from justice." Article 51.13 provides for the time limits, procedures, protections and defenses for individuals being held in another state for extradition to Texas, and for individuals held in Texas awaiting extradition to another state.

Many of these cases involve a violation of probation warrant after an individual on probation leaves the state without permission from the probation officer or when the individual transfers his probation out of state and then violates the terms of probation. Other cases involve a person who allegedly committed a crime and then left the state unaware or the criminal accusation. Some cases involve a person who flees the state in order to avoid prosecution. 

Extradition to Texas on Arrest Warrant

Contact Houston criminal defense attorney Matt Horak to discuss any extradition case in Houston for Harris County or The Woodlands for Montgomery County (or any surrounding county in Texas). Often the Court that issued the arrest warrant can grant relief that might allow for your release so that you can voluntarily travel back to Texas to fight the charges.

Retaining local counsel as quickly as possible after you become aware of the arrest warrant often leads to the best results. Contact Horak Law locally at (713) 225-8000 or toll-free at (800) 225-8009 to take advantage of a free, confidential consultation.


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More Information on the Uniform Criminal Extradition Act

Please note that we have included  much of the statutory language in order to assist our reader with understanding the appliable law. Certain provision of the statute have been slightly rewritten or reformated to make the content more readable.


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Definitions

Sec. 1. Where appearing in this Article, the term “Governor” includes any person performing the functions of Governor by authority of the laws of Texas.

The term “Executive Authority” includes the Governor, and any person performing the functions of Governor in a State other than Texas.

The term “State”, referring to a State other than Texas, includes any other State organized or unorganized of the United States of America.

Fugitives from Justice; Duty of Governor

Sec.2. Subject to the provisions of this Article, the provisions of the Constitution of the United States controlling, and any and all Acts of Congress enacted in pursuance thereof, it is the duty of the Governor of Texas 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 Texas.

Form of Demand

Sec. 3. No demand for the extradition of a person charged with crime in another State shall be recognized by the Governor unless in writing, alleging, except in cases arising under Section 6, 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.

The indictment, information, or affidavit made before the magistrate must substantially charge the person demanded with having:

  • committed a crime under the law of that State; and
  • the copy of indictment, information, affidavit, judgment of conviction or sentence must be authenticated by the Executive Authority making the demand;
  • provided, however, that 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.

The Texas Governor May Investigate Case

Sec. 4. When a demand shall be made upon the Governor of Texas by the Executive Authority of another State for the surrender of a person so charged with crime, the Governor may call upon the Secretary of State, Attorney General or any prosecuting officer in Texas to investigate or assist in investigating the demand, and to report to him the situation and circumstances of the person so demanded, and whether he ought to be surrendered.

Extradition of Persons Imprisoned or Awaiting Trial in Another State or Who have Left the Demanding State Under Compulsion

Sec. 5. When it is desired to have returned to Texas a person charged in Texas with a crime, and such person is imprisoned or is held under criminal proceedings then pending against him in another State, the Governor of Texas may agree with the Executive Authority of such other State for the extradition of such person before the conclusion of such proceedings or his term of sentence in such other State, upon condition that such person be returned to such other State at the expense of Texas as soon as the prosecution in this State is terminated.

The Governor of Texas may also surrender on demand of the Executive Authority of any other State any person in this State who is charged in the manner provided in Section 23 of this Act with having violated the laws of the State whose Executive Authority is making the demand, even though such person left the demanding State involuntarily.

Extradition of Persons Not Present in Demanding State at Time of Commission of Crime

Sec. 6. The Governor of Texas may also surrender, on demand of the Executive Authority of any other State, any person in this State charged in such other State in the manner provided in Section 3 with committing an act in Texas, or in a third State, intentionally resulting in a crime in the State whose Executive Authority is making the demand, and the provisions of this Article not otherwise inconsistent, shall apply to such cases, even though the accused was not in that State at the time of the commission of the crime, and has not fled therefrom.

Issue of Governor's Warrant of Arrest; Its Recitals

Sec. 7. If the Governor decides that the demand should be complied with, he shall sign a warrant of arrest, which shall be sealed with the state seal and be directed to any peace officer or other person whom he may think fit to entrust with the execution thereof.

The warrant must substantially recite the facts necessary to the validity of its issuance.

Manner and Place of Execution

Sec. 8. Such warrant shall authorize the peace officer or other person to whom directed to arrest the accused at any time and any place where he may be found within the State and to command the aid of all peace officers and other persons in the execution of the warrant, and to deliver the accused, subject to the provisions of this Article to the duly authorized agent of the demanding State.

Authority of Arresting Officer

Sec. 9. Every such peace officer or other person empowered to make the arrest, shall have the same authority, in arresting the accused, to command assistance therein, as peace officers have by law in the execution of any criminal process directed to them, with like penalties against those who refuse their assistance.

Rights of Accused Person; Application for Writ of Habeas Corpus

Sec. 10. No person arrested upon such warrant shall be delivered over to the agent whom the Executive Authority demanding him shall have appointed to receive him unless he shall first be taken forthwith before a judge of a court of record in Texas, who shall inform him of:

  • the demand made for his surrender and of the crime with which he is charged, and
  • that he has the right to demand and procure legal counsel; and
  • if the prisoner or his counsel shall state that he or they desire to test the legality of his arrest, the judge of such court of record shall fix a reasonable time to be allowed him within which to apply for a writ of habeas corpus.

When such a writ is applied for, notice thereof, and of the time and place of hearing thereon, shall be given to the prosecuting officer of the county in which the arrest is made and in which the accused is in custody, and to the said agent of the demanding State.

Penalty for Non-compliance With Preceding Section

Sec. 11. Any officer who shall deliver to the agent for extradition of the demanding State a person in his custody under the Governor's warrant, in wilful disobedience to Section 10 of this Act, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, on conviction, shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars or be imprisoned not more than six months, or both.

Confinement in Jail, When Necessary

Sec. 12. The officer or persons executing the Governor's warrant of arrest, or the agent of the demanding State to whom the prisoner may have been delivered may, when necessary, confine the prisoner in the jail of any county or city through which he may pass; and the keeper of such jail must receive and safely keep the prisoner until the officer or person having charge of him is ready to proceed on his route, such officer or person being chargeable with the expense of keeping.

The officer or agent of a demanding State to whom a prisoner may have been delivered following extradition proceedings in another State, or to whom a prisoner may have been delivered after waiving extradition in such other State, and who is passing through this State with such a prisoner for the purpose of immediately returning such prisoner to the demanding State may, when necessary,

  • confine the prisoner in the jail of any county or city through which he may pass; and
  • the keeper of such jail must receive and safely keep the prisoner until the officer or agent having charge of him is ready to proceed on his route, such officer or agent, however, being chargeable with the expense of keeping; provided, however, that such officer or agent shall produce and show to the keeper of such jail satisfactory written evidence of the fact that he is actually transporting such prisoner to the demanding State after a requisition by the Executive Authority of such demanding State.

Such prisoner shall not be entitled to demand a new requisition while in Texas.

Arrest Prior to Requisition

Sec. 13. Whenever any person within Texas shall be charged on the oath of any credible person before any judge or magistrate of this State with the commission of any crime in any other State and except in cases arising under Section 6, with having

  • fled from justice, or
  • with having been convicted of a crime in that State and having escaped from confinement, or
  • having broken the terms of his bail, probation or parole, or

whenever complaint shall have been made before any judge or magistrate in Texas setting forth on the affidavit of any credible person in another State that a crime has been committed in such other State and that the accused has been charged in such State with the commission of the crime, and

  • except in cases arising under Section 6, has fled from justice, or with having been convicted of a crime in that State and having escaped from confinement, or having broken the terms of his bail, probation or parole and is believed to be in Texas,

the judge or magistrate shall

  • issue a warrant directed to any peace officer commanding him to apprehend the person named therein, wherever he may be found in this State, and
  • to bring him before the same or any other judge, magistrate or court who or which may be available in or convenient of access to the place where the arrest may be made, to
    • answer the charge or complaint and affidavit, and
    • a certified copy of the sworn charge or complaint and affidavit upon which the warrant is issued shall be attached to the warrant.

Arrest Without a Warrant

Sec. 14. The arrest of a person may be lawfully made also by any peace officer or private person, without a warrant upon reasonable information that the accused stands charged in the courts of a State with a crime punishable by death or imprisonment for a term exceeding one year, but when so arrested the accused must be taken before a judge or magistrate with all practicable speed and complaint must be made against him under oath setting forth the ground for the arrest as in the preceding section; and thereafter his answer shall be heard as if he had been arrested on a warrant.

Commitment to Await Requisition; Bail

Sec. 15. If from the examination before the judge or magistrate it appears that the person held is the person charged with having committed the crime alleged and except in cases arising under Section 6, that he has fled from justice, the judge or magistrate must, by warrant reciting the accusation, commit him to the county jail for such time not exceeding thirty days and specified in the warrant, as will enable the arrest of the accused to be made under a warrant of the Governor on a requisition of the Executive Authority of the State having jurisdiction of the offense, unless the accused give bail as provided in the next section, or until he shall be legally discharged.

Bail; In What Cases; Conditions of Bond

Sec. 16. Unless the offense with which the prisoner is charged is shown to be an offense punishable by death or life imprisonment under the laws of the State in which it was committed, a judge or magistrate in this State may admit the person arrested to bail by bond, with sufficient sureties and in such sum as he deems proper, conditioned for his appearance before him at a time specified in such bond, and for his surrender, to be arrested upon the warrant of the Governor in this State.

Extension of Time of Commitment; Adjournment

Sec. 17. If the accused is not arrested under warrant of the Governor by the expiration of the time specified in the warrant or bond, a judge or magistrate may discharge him or may recommit him for a further period not to exceed sixty days, or a judge or magistrate may again take bail for his appearance and surrender, as provided in Section 16, but within a period not to exceed sixty days after the date of such new bond.

Forfeiture of Bail

Sec. 18. If the prisoner is admitted to bail and fails to appear and surrender himself according to the conditions of his bond, the judge, or magistrate by proper order, shall declare the bond forfeited and order his immediate arrest without warrant if he be within this State. Recovery may be had on such bond in the name of the State as in the case of other bonds given by the accused in criminal proceedings within this State.

Persons Under Criminal Prosecution in this State at the Time of Requisition

Sec. 19. If a criminal prosecution has been instituted against such person under the laws of this State and is still pending, the Governor, in his discretion, either may surrender him on demand of the Executive Authority of another State or hold him until he has been tried and discharged or convicted and punished in this State.

Guilt or Innocence of Accused, When Inquired Into

Sec. 20. The guilt or innocence of the accused as to the crime of which he is charged may not be inquired into by the Governor or in any proceeding after the demand for extradition accompanied by a charge of crime in legal form as above provided shall have been presented to the Governor, except as it may be involved in identifying the person held as the person charged with the crime.

Governor May Recall Warrant or Issue Alias

Sec. 21. The governor may recall his warrant of the arrest or may issue another warrant whenever he deems proper. Each warrant issued by the Governor shall expire and be of no force and effect when not executed within one year from the date thereof.

Fugitives from this State; Duty of Governor

Sec. 22. Whenever the Governor of this State shall demand a person charged with crime or with escaping from confinement or breaking the terms of his bail, probation or parole in this State, from the Executive Authority of any other State, or from the Chief Justice or an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia authorized to receive such demand under the laws of the United States, he shall issue a warrant under the state seal, to some agent, commanding him to receive the person so charged if delivered to him and convey him to the proper officer of the county in this State in which the offense was committed, or in which the prosecution for such offense is then pending.

Application for Issuance of Requisition; By Whom Made; Contents

Sec. 23. 1. When the return to this State of a person charged with crime in this State is required, the State's attorney shall present to the Governor his written motion for a requisition for the return of the person charged, in which motion shall be stated the name of the person so charged, the crime charged against him, the approximate time, place and circumstances of its commission, the State in which he is believed to be, including the location of the accused therein at the time the motion is made and certifying that, in the opinion of the said State's attorney the ends of justice require the arrest and return of the accused to this State for trial and that the proceeding is not instituted to enforce a private claim.

2. When the return to this State is required of a person who has been convicted of a crime in this State and has escaped from confinement, or broken the terms of his bail, probation or parole, the prosecuting attorney of the county in which the offense was committed, the parole board, or the warden of the institution or sheriff of the county, from which escape was made, shall present to the Governor a written application for a requisition for the return of such person, in which application shall be stated the name of the person, the crime of which he was convicted, the circumstances of his escape from confinement, or the circumstances of the breach of the terms of his bail, probation or parole, the State in which he is believed to be, including the location of the person therein at the time application is made.

3. The application shall be verified by affidavit, shall be executed in duplicate and shall be accompanied by two certified copies of the indictment returned, or information and affidavit filed, or of the complaint made to the judge or magistrate, stating the offense with which the accused is charged, or of the judgment of conviction or of the sentence. The prosecuting officer, parole board, warden or sheriff may also attach such further affidavits and other documents in duplicate as he shall deem proper to be submitted with such application. One copy of the application, with the action of the Governor indicated by endorsement thereon, and one of the certified copies of the indictment, complaint, information, and affidavits, or of the judgment of conviction or of the sentence shall be filed in the office of the Governor. The other copies of all papers shall be forwarded with the Governor's requisition.

Costs and Expenses

Sec. 24.

In all cases of extradition, the commissioners court of the county where an offense is alleged to have been committed, or in which the prosecution is then pending may in its discretion, on request of the sheriff and the recommendation of the prosecuting attorney, pay the actual and necessary expenses of the officer or person commissioned to receive the person charged, out of any county fund or funds not otherwise pledged.

Immunity from Service of Process in Certain Civil Cases

Sec. 25. A person brought into this State by, or after waiver of, extradition based on a criminal charge shall not be subject to service of personal process in civil actions arising out of the same facts as the criminal proceeding to answer which he is being or has been returned, until he has been convicted in the criminal proceeding, or if acquitted, until he has had reasonable opportunity to return to the State from which he was extradited. Written Waiver of

Extradition Proceedings

Sec. 25a. Any person arrested in this State charged with having committed any crime in another State or alleged to have escaped from confinement, or broken the terms of his bail, probation, or parole may waive the issuance and service of the warrant provided for in Sections 7 and 8 and all other procedure incidental to extradition proceedings, by executing or subscribing in the presence of a judge or any court of record within this State a writing which states that he consents to return to the demanding State; provided, however, that before such waiver shall be executed or subscribed by such person it shall be the duty of such judge to inform such person of his rights to the issuance and service of a warrant of extradition and to obtain a writ of habeas corpus as provided for in Section 10. If and when such consent has been duly executed it shall forthwith be forwarded to the office of the Governor of this State and filed therein.

The judge shall direct the officer having such person in custody to deliver forthwith such person to the duly accredited agent or agents of the demanding State, and shall deliver or cause to be delivered to such agent or agents a copy of such consent; provided, however, that nothing in this section shall be deemed to limit the rights of the accused person to return voluntarily and without formality to the demanding State, nor shall this waiver procedure be deemed to be an exclusive procedure or to limit the powers, rights or duties of the officers of the demanding State or of this State.

Non-waiver by this State

Sec. 25b. Nothing in this Act contained shall be deemed to constitute a waiver by this State of its right, power or privilege to try such demanded person for crime committed within this State, or of its right, power or privilege to regain custody of such person by extradition proceedings or otherwise for the purpose of trial, sentence or punishment for any crime committed within this State, nor shall any proceedings had under this Article which result, or fail to result in, extradition to be deemed a waiver by this State of any of its rights, privileges or jurisdiction in any way whatsoever.

No Right of Asylum, No Immunity from Other Criminal Prosecutions While in this State

Sec. 26. After a person has been brought back to this State by, or after waiver of extradition proceedings, he may be tried in this State for other crimes which he may be charged with having committed here as well as that specified in the requisition for his extradition.

Interpretation

Sec. 27. The provisions of this Article shall be interpreted and construed as to effectuate its general purposes to make uniform the law of those States which enact it.


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Matt Horak Matt Horak is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 2014