Out-of-State Arrests in Texas

Texas is a unique place. Not only is the culture vastly different from any of the other states in the nation, but the laws which regulate us are also unique, and in many ways more strict than the rest of the United States. So when visitors from other states come across the borders to visit, it’s actually fairly common for them to accidentally break the law and find themselves facing the harshness of our criminal justice system. For those who aren’t familiar with our laws or are used to their own state, this can be an intimidating experience. If you’re from out of state and facing these charges, then this blog is for you: we’ll explain how these cases are handled and what you can expect during your trial.

Will I Be Extradited?

The first question we often hear is either “Will I be extradited?” or “Will I have to go back to Texas to go to court?” The answer may not be straightforward at first. Depending on the nature of your charges, you may be able to simply take care of your accusations while staying at home, though this is usually reserved for things like traffic tickets, and only if you wish to plead guilty and pay your fine.

If your charges are more serious, such as misdemeanor or felony accusations, then the chances are good that you may have to come back to Texas in order to answer for your charges. However, working with a qualified McKinney criminal defense lawyer can help you resolve the issue quickly so you don’t have to keep coming back to attend court dates.

Extradition is typically only reserved for serious offenders, such as those who come into Texas to commit major fraud schemes or commit a violent crime while here. Extradition is expensive: the state will have to pay for airfare, ground transportation, hotels, food, and other expenses round trip for two law enforcement officers. They’ll also have to pay for your plane ride both back to Texas and back home afterward if you’re permitted to return. Therefore, this is usually reserved for only the most serious offenders. However, for minor offenses, don’t be surprised if Texas works with your home state to levy consequences that you’ll have to deal with in order to continue your life.

Common Arrests for Out-of-State Visitors

Very few people cross state lines with the intent of committing a major crime. The vast majority of out-of-state residents who are arrested and charged with a crime are accused of a misdemeanor offense, usually fueled by alcohol. Let’s look at some of the more common charges that out-of-state visitors face in the Lone Star State.

  • DWI: Nearly every state is serious about cracking down on drunk drivers, but some people know what they can get away with at home, and are surprised when they are caught while in Texas. DWI charges are taken extremely seriously, and actually could carry a jail sentence. Therefore, it’s best to avoid driving after consuming alcohol all together while visiting from out of state.
  • Public Intoxication: This is a Class C misdemeanor that is charged when someone is so intoxicated in a public place that they become a danger to either themselves or to those around them. This may lead to a night in the drunk tank at your local jail, but doesn’t usually amount to anything more than a $500 fine after that.
  • Drug Possession: Many states around the country have started to legalize marijuana in some regards, whether it’s for medicinal use or even for general consumption. Texas is not one of them. As many celebrities have found out, carrying marijuana over state lines, even for personal consumption, and even if it’s legal in your state, can and likely will result in criminal charges if it’s found by authorities.
  • Disorderly Conduct: Disorderly conduct is when someone uses abusive, indecent, or vulgar language in a public place in order to try to disturb the peace. This can also include things like making offensive gestures, creating nasty odors, or making unreasonable noise. You won’t be arrested for swearing, but intentionally being loud, obnoxious, and offensive towards people could see you face Class C misdemeanor charges.
  • Traffic Offenses: Texas is serious about driving safely, and that means law enforcement officers are on the lookout for those who speed, run red lights, and generally drive in a way that endangers the rest of the public. You will be pulled over and ticketed, and driving too chaotically could land you in serious trouble, even resulting in you being arrested and charged with reckless driving.
  • Airport Arrests: Airports are high-security places, and airport police will not hesitate to react to those who try to break the law in them. This includes carrying a firearm, drugs, or other illegal contraband through an airport, as well as entering a restricted area without permission or clearance.

If you have been arrested and charged with a crime while visiting Texas, it’s important to obtain a local attorney who can help you navigate your charges and face the criminal justice system with confidence. The McKinney criminal defense attorney at The Crowder Law Firm has extensive experience and knowledge that can help visitors to Texas deal with their charges quickly so they can return home and continue living their life as normal.

Call The Crowder Law Firm today at (214) 981-1441 to request a case evaluation!
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