if you miss a court date in texas for prostitution and now have a warrant in texas for your arrest, and move to canada, can the police expedite you?

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if you miss a court date in texas for prostitution and now have a warrant in texas for your arrest, and move to canada, can the police expedite you?

Asked on May 23, 2009 under Criminal Law, California

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Probably not.  First of all, I don't think that Texas, or any other state for that matter,  would concern itself enough to go after you providing it was a simple prostitution offense and nothing more serious.   It simply wouldn't be worth the time and expense.  Second, Canada probably wouldn't allow it. 

The first step to extradite someone from Canada is the receipt by Canada of evidence from another country that the alleged conduct of the person sought while in the jurisdiction of the requesting country, would have been a crime if committed in Canada (“dual criminality”); and which could have been punishable by two or more years of incarceration.  In some cases, depending on the requesting jurisdiction, the threshold might be five years of incarceration if the alleged crime had been committed in Canada.

In this way, extradition law seeks to allow the surrender of an individual to criminal prosecution by another country for only the most serious crimes.

Also, prostitution is not illegal in Canada; almost everything related to prostitution has been regulated by the criminal law except the transaction itself.  So depending on the facts of your arrest, the offense that you were charged with may not even be considered a crime under the duel criminality standard. Canada would thus refuse to extradite.

You should note however, that a warrant doesn't expire, so to try and come back to the US might land you in hot water.  While Texas may not come after you, if you are picked up for this warrant at the border or if you get into the US and are picked up for any other offense (even a speeding ticket) , they will certainly prosecute at that time.  Possibly you could consider hiring a Texas attorney to help you out with this.  If enough time has passed and depending on the exact facts of your case, he might find a sympathetic prosecutor who would be willing to to drop or reduce the charges.


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