Philadelphia, PA asked in Criminal Law for New Jersey

Q: My boyfriend got arrested in Pennsylvania for a bench warrant in New Jersey on a case that happened 18 yrs ago

It was on an assault case that was In 2003 and the order a bench warrant for 2004. But the guy who filed the charges moved to Florida and passed away in Florida. But my boyfriend told me that he was defending himself after the guy knock my boyfriend's glasses off his face and he couldn't see.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Amber Forrester
Amber Forrester
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Trenton, NJ
  • Licensed in New Jersey

A: The states cooperate in terms of arresting people wanted on another state's warrant. Your boyfriend will be subject to extradition, which means that PA will call the NJ entity that issued the warrant and ask if NJ wants to come and get him or if PA should release him. If NJ indicates that they want to pick him up, they have 30 days to do so. Your boyfriend can challenge extradition in a hearing, but that hearing only concerns whether he is the correct person sought under the warrant.

If NJ does indicate that they will pick him up, after he is transported to NJ he will face the charges in the town or county where they were filed. If the offense is an aggravated assault, he could be subject to detention if the prosecutor files for it and wins. While a victim is a very important witness in an assault case, the fact that the victim is now deceased doesn't mean the prosecutor is required to dismiss the charge (though the prosecutor may decide it's in the state's interest to do so). An "unavailable" witness's statement is admissible in court, so the state could pursue the case at its discretion.

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