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Out-of-State Criminal Summons: What to Do When Summoned in Another State

Out-of-State Criminal Summons: What to Do When Summoned in Another State

Getting summoned for a criminal case in another state can be an incredibly stressful and confusing situation. You might be wondering – what are my rights? Do I have to go? What are the potential consequences? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Our team of experienced criminal defense attorneys have handled countless out-of-state cases and know exactly what to do.First things first, take a deep breath. This isn’t the end of the world, but it is a serious matter that requires prompt attention. The most important thing is to not ignore the summons – that will only make the situation worse. Instead, read on to understand your options and the potential implications of an out-of-state criminal case.

Understanding the Summons

A summons is an official court order that requires you to appear before a judge or magistrate on a specific date. It’s essentially the start of criminal proceedings against you. The summons will outline the charges, the court you need to appear in, and the date/time of your appearance.It’s crucial to carefully review the summons and understand the charges against you. Some common charges that may require out-of-state appearances include:

  • Drug possession
  • Assault
  • Theft
  • White collar crimes like fraud or embezzlement

The severity of the charges will play a big role in how you respond. Misdemeanors are less serious than felonies, but can still carry hefty fines and potential jail time if convicted.

Hire Local Counsel Immediately

Our biggest piece of advice? Hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer in the state where the charges originated. Do not try to handle this on your own or with an out-of-state lawyer who isn’t licensed and familiar with the local laws and court procedures.Having local representation is absolutely essential. An attorney based in the same state will know the prosecutors, judges, and ins-and-outs of that specific jurisdiction. They can advocate for you properly from the very start.For example, one of our recent cases involved a client charged with stalking Alec Baldwin in New York. Because we have a local NYC office, we could immediately start protecting his rights and crafting a strong defense strategy.When hiring local counsel, look for a criminal defense specialist with experience handling the type of charge you’re facing. Ask about their track record, client testimonials, and strategy for your case during the consultation.

To Travel or Not to Travel?

One of the biggest questions our out-of-state clients have is whether they need to personally travel to the other state for court appearances. The answer isn’t always straightforward.In some cases, your lawyer can make arrangements for you to appear via video conference for initial hearings and arraignments. This can be a good temporary solution if there are travel constraints. However, you will likely need to be physically present for other major events like:

  • Arraignment hearings
  • Pre-trial hearings
  • The trial itself
  • Sentencing (if convicted)

Your lawyer will discuss the specific requirements for your case. If travel is unavoidable, be sure to allocate enough time and money for multiple extended trips to that state. Trials can be delayed and rescheduled on short notice, so flexibility is key.

Potential Consequences of Ignoring the Summons

We cannot stress this enough: Do not ignore the summons! Failing to appear in court as required is a separate criminal offense known as a “failure to appear” or FTA. This can lead to:

Christine Twomey
Christine Twomey
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Brendan huisman
Brendan huisman
Alex Zhik contacted me almost immediately when I reached out to Spodek for a consultation and was able to effectively communicate the path forward/consequences of my legal issue. I immediately agreed to hire Alex for his services and did not regret my choice. He was able to cover my case in court (with 1 day notice) and not only was he able to push my case down, he carefully negotiated a dismissal of the charge altogether. I highly recommend Spodek, and more specifically, Alex Zhik for all of your legal issues. Thanks guys!
Guerline Menard
Guerline Menard
Thanks again Spodek law firm, particularly Esq Claire Banks who stood right there with us up to the finish line. Attached photos taken right outside of the court building and the smile on our faces represented victory, a breath of fresh air and satisfaction. We are very happy that this is over and we can move on with our lives. Thanks Spodek law 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙌🏼❤️
Keisha Parris
Keisha Parris
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko Beauty
Taïko Beauty
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence. Thank you team!
Anthony Williams
Anthony Williams
Hey, how you guys doing? Good afternoon my name is Anthony Williams I just want to give a great shout out to the team of. Spodek law group. It is such a honor to use them and to use their assistance through this whole case from start to finish. They did everything that they said they was gonna do and if it ever comes down to it, if I ever have to use them again, hands-down they will be the first law office at the top of my list, thank you guys so much. It was a pleasure having you guys by my side so if you guys ever need them, do not hesitate to pick up the phone and give them a call.
Loveth Okpedo
Loveth Okpedo
Very professional, very transparent, over all a great experience
Bee L
Bee L
Amazing experience with Spodek! Very professional lawyers who take your case seriously. They treated me with respect, were always available, and answered any and all questions. They were able to help me very successfully and removed a huge stress. Highly recommend.
divesh patel
divesh patel
I can't recommend Alex Zhik and Spodek Law Firm highly enough for their exceptional legal representation and personal mentorship. From the moment I engaged their services in October 2022, Alex took the time to understand my case thoroughly and provided guidance every step of the way. Alex's dedication to my case went above and beyond my expectations. His expertise, attention to detail, and commitment to achieving the best possible outcome were evident throughout the entire process. He took the time to mentor me, ensuring I understood the legal complexities involved to make informed decisions. Alex is the kind of guy you would want to have a beer with and has made a meaningful impact on me. I also want to acknowledge Todd Spodek, the leader of the firm, who played a crucial role in my case. His leadership and support bolstered the efforts of Alex, and his involvement highlighted the firm's commitment to excellence. Thanks to Alex Zhik and Todd Spodek, I achieved the outcome I desired, and I am incredibly grateful for their professionalism, expertise, and genuine care. If you're in need of legal representation, look no further than this outstanding team.
  • An arrest warrant being issued against you
  • Revocation of bail/bond if you previously posted it
  • Additional fines and jail time being added to your sentence if convicted of the original charges

Even if you think the charges are bogus or unfair, ignoring them won’t make them go away. All you’re doing is digging yourself into a deeper legal hole. The responsible approach is to follow the summons instructions and let your lawyer protect your rights properly.

Possible Defenses for Out-of-State Cases

If you do make the responsible decision to appear and fight the charges with a local lawyer, there are many potential defenses they may explore such as:

  • Challenging the validity of the evidence against you
  • Arguing law enforcement violated your constitutional rights
  • Self-defense claims for violent crimes
  • Establishing you were wrongly identified/location errors
  • Negotiating for reduced charges or diversionary programs

For example, in one of our cases, our client was accused of threatening a Las Vegas attorney. We were able to get the charges completely dismissed by poking holes in the prosecution’s evidence and theory of the case.The defense strategy will depend heavily on the specific nature of your charges and circumstances. An experienced lawyer will carefully review all details to craft the strongest possible defense.

Potential for Having the Case “Transferred” Closer to Home

In some situations, it may be possible to have your out-of-state case transferred and handled closer to your home state. This process is known as “interstate compact” rules which allow for supervision transfers between states.However, this is not an automatic right and has very specific requirements, including:

  • The offense being a “qualifiable” offense under compact rules (usually probation-eligible cases)
  • You having residency/ties to the state you want the case transferred to
  • No objection from either state’s prosecutors
  • Approval from a judge in both states

If granted, this would allow you to continue any probation, court-ordered classes, or other conditions of your sentence without having to frequently travel back to the originating state.Our attorneys are very familiar with interstate compact transfers and can advise if your case may qualify based on the specific charges and circumstances. We’d pursue this whenever possible to make things easier for our out-of-state clients.

How to Prepare for Your Court Appearances

If you do end up having to travel for court appearances, preparation is key to putting your best foot forward. Some tips:

  • Get all documentation/evidence organized with your lawyer’s help
  • Dress professionally and conservatively for all hearings
  • Be punctual and show up extra early to court to avoid issues
  • Have your lawyer prepare you on proper courtroom etiquette and behavior
  • Get your affairs in order in case you are sentenced to jail time
  • Bring only what’s absolutely essential into court (no phones/devices)

Your lawyer will ensure you know exactly what to expect and do for each hearing or court date. The more prepared you are, the better.

Potential Immigration Consequences

For non-U.S. citizens, an out-of-state criminal charge can have severe immigration consequences like deportation – even for relatively minor offenses. If you are not a citizen, it’s absolutely critical you:

  1. Inform your criminal defense lawyer of your immigration status immediately
  2. Hire an experienced immigration lawyer to work alongside your criminal lawyer

Your immigration lawyer will advise you on the specific impacts of charges like crimes involving moral turpitude, aggravated felonies, and how convictions could make you inadmissible or deportable. They’ll fight to protect your immigration status.

The Importance of Compliance

Once you’ve appeared and worked through the court process with your lawyer, you may be facing consequences like probation, fines, community service, or other conditions. It’s absolutely imperative you fully comply with all conditions of your sentence.Why? Because you’ll be under supervision of probation officers in that state – even when you return home. Failing to follow through can lead to a violation and revocation of your probation. This could result in arrest warrants and potential jail time.Our lawyers always stress the importance of compliance to out-of-state clients. We’ll connect you with resources and probation officers who can continue monitoring you in your home state. But at the end of the day, it’s on you to take your sentence seriously and follow all rules and conditions.

The Cost of Hiring an Out-of-State Lawyer

One of the biggest concerns clients have when facing out-of-state charges is the potential cost of hiring a lawyer across state lines. It’s true that legal fees can be higher due to the travel and logistical requirements for your lawyer.However, these costs are an investment to protect your rights, freedom, and future from serious criminal charges. An experienced out-of-state lawyer knows how to navigate the system efficiently to control costs as much as possible.For example, our firm has a nationwide network of lawyers we can leverage for cases across the country. We also utilize technologies like virtual meetings to minimize travel needs and expenses.During your consultation, we’ll go over all the anticipated costs upfront in a transparent manner so you can plan accordingly. Payment plans may also be an option in some cases. The priority is finding a solution to get you top-notch legal representation.

When to Self-Surrender vs. Fighting Extradition

If charges against you are severe enough, there may be a warrant issued for your arrest and extradition to the other state. In these cases, you’ll need to decide whether to self-surrender or fight the extradition process.Self-surrendering means you comply with instructions to turn yourself in to authorities in that state. This shows you’re taking accountability and not evading justice.Fighting extradition is challenging and has very narrow legal grounds for doing so. It will require a separate extradition hearing and process that your lawyer will guide you through.The decision depends on factors like:

  • The severity of charges against you
  • Your ties and legal status in your home state
  • Input and recommendations from your lawyer

In many cases, self-surrendering is the best approach to demonstrate good faith and compliance. But your lawyer will advise you on the right strategy for your specific situation.

Expunging Your Out-of-State Record

If you are able to get charges dismissed or take a diversionary program, you’ll want to look into getting your record expunged or sealed in that state. An expungement essentially clears or isolates your record from public view so it doesn’t impact future employment, housing, etc.Each state has different expungement laws, eligibility rules, and processes. Your local lawyer should be well-versed in these procedures and requirements. They’ll let you know what’s needed and can assist with properly filing to clear your record.For example, in one of our cases, our client was a juror accused of misconduct in the Ghislaine Maxwell trial. After getting the charges dropped, we were able to fully expunge his record.An expungement gives you a true fresh start and clears your name fully. It’s an important final step with out-of-state charges.

Final Thoughts on Out-of-State Criminal Summons

Being summoned for an out-of-state criminal case is undoubtedly stressful, confusing, and disruptive. But you have options and a path forward with the right legal strategy.The most important things are to take the summons seriously, hire experienced local counsel immediately, and have a lawyer advising you on all potential defenses and implications. With proper representation, you can protect your rights and resolve the matter properly.Our team of top criminal defense attorneys have represented countless clients facing out-of-state charges. We leverage our nationwide network to quickly deploy effective legal strategies no matter where charges originate from.If you or a loved one has been summoned for an out-of-state criminal case, don’t wait – contact us immediately for a free, confidential consultation. We’ll walk you through all your options and build a a defense plan to fight for the best possible outcome

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