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What Happens if You Get Arrested in Another State?

Ever wondered what happens if you get arrested in another state? We’ve got the low down…


We live in Michigan. So if you get arrested here, and if the arrest pertains to a crime committed here in Michigan, you’re subject to Michigan’s laws. That’s what we here at The Kronzek Firm PLC spend every day practicing – defending people accused of committing crimes that violate Michigan’s criminal code. But what happens when you leave the state and get arrested somewhere else? What if you’re driving through Tennessee or Alaska or Seattle, and you get pulled over and the cop tells you they have a warrant for your arrest? What do you do?


Help! I need my lawyer but I’m out of state!


It happens. Sometimes people travel to visit friends or relatives. Or they go and visit a tourist destination in some other state. And while they’re there, they get caught up in something that doesn’t work out the way they’d hoped it would and they land themselves behind bars. Or there’s an altercation and they end up getting involved in something that gets waaaay out of hand. Suddenly the cops arrive and it’s shiny bracelets for everyone. What happens now?


Well, you’ve got a couple of options in this situation:



  • Take whatever attorney the court appoints you:


You can imagine how we feel about this one. (And if you follow our blog, you already know the hazards of letting the public defender handle your case!) In truth, if the court appointed system is anything like Michigan’s system, you’re most likely going to get someone who is overworked, underpaid, and has little to no time for you and your problems. So you’ll get what you pay for – which is nothing. All in all, unless you’re excited about the idea of a nice long jail (or prison) stay in another state, far from your loved ones, we don’t recommend this option at all!) So, if you need an attorney quickly, temporarily accept the court appointed attorney until you or your family can find a highly recommended criminal defense attorney in the area where you’ve been arrested.



  • You find a local attorney to help you:


This is pretty hit and miss if you’re operating on your own. You can ask around the jail and see if anyone can give you a recommendation, or see if there are any business cards for local defense lawyers tacked up on the bulletin boards in the jail rec room. But this is a lot like shooting at targets with your eyes closed – you have no idea what you’ll get. It might be someone really good at what they do. Or, you could end up with the local equivalent of Barry Zuckerkorn from Arrested Development! One option is to look for attorneys that specialize in criminal defense and have lots of great online reviews.



  • You get a recommendation from a trusted source:


This is always a better option that just taking whatever comes along. Finding someone who has a good reputation, and has had success in other cases, goes a long way towards ensuring that you’re getting a good attorney. If you don’t have friends or family in the area who can recommend someone, or can do a little research on your behalf, call us if we’ve worked with you in the past. There’s a good chance we can give you a recommendation for a skilled criminal lawyer practicing in the area where you were arrested.



  • You get help from the best, no matter where you are:


This may surprise you, but we may still be able to help you, even if you’re sitting in a jail cell in Florida or California. How’s that possible? Because of a handy little thing called being admitted in that state “pro hac vice.” Most other states allow attorneys in good standing to “waive” into their state for the purpose of handling a case or two every year. (Florida allows an attorney in good standing from another state to waive into the Sunshine State for up to 5 cases each year!) So just because you’ve been arrested in another state, doesn’t mean your trusted Michigan attorneys can’t help you out! Our attorneys have helped clients in California and Texas to Florida and New York. Because of the significant expense, we only handle very large/serious cases in other states.


No matter where you are, call home for reliable help!


Whether you’re in Massachusetts, Nevada or North Dakota, if you run afoul of the law and need a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney to help you untangle the mess, call The Kronzek Firm at 866 766 5245 (866 7No Jail). We can represent people in other states who are facing legal trouble and need help from a trusted attorney in good standing.


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