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What Happens If You Get Arrested in Another State?

June 21, 2019

Getting arrested in familiar surroundings is distressing enough, but being arrested in another state can make the process even more stressful. If you have been arrested and charged with a crime in another state, the process of dealing with those charges will be a little different than if you dealing with the same situation at home. If you’re arrested in another state, here is what you need to know.

Your home state will not have any jurisdiction.

States each have the ability to prosecute people for crimes that happen in their states. The laws of the state you are in at the time of the arrest are the ones that apply to you, not the laws in your home state. That means you can be arrested and charged with a crime in one state for doing something that is not illegal in your state. Similarly, the severity of the charges and the potential penalties may be vastly different from your home state, but you will be subject to all of the laws of the state in which the crime occurred regardless of where you call home.

You will need a criminal defense attorney who practices in that state.

When you hire a defense lawyer to represent you for your case, you may not be able to hire one in your hometown. The lawyer who represents you will need to be licensed to practice in the state in which you were charged, and he or she will need knowledge of the laws in that state to defend you effectively. This may mean hiring an attorney who lives in the city in which you were arrested, rather than one in your state.

You may have to travel multiple times for court.

If you were arrested for a misdemeanor, your attorney may be able to appear in court on your behalf. In other cases, you may need to travel repeatedly to appear in court. This can add extra expense to defending yourself, so plan accordingly when you hire a lawyer.

Janet Altschuler is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Tucson who is ready to fight for your rights. If you’re arrested in Arizona, call (520) 247-1789.