Speak Up! - View Question #657
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Question: Can a person be arrested for the same crime in different states?
Particularly Felonies, how does the system work?
Answer: Most states have special laws that set out the rules defining when a state can prosecute a person for a crime (misdemeanor or felony). This is called jurisdiction. The Arizona Law that governs this is A.R.S. 13-108
Arizona law gives Arizona the jurisdiction to prosecute if:
1. Any element of the crime was committed in Arizona (land and water and the air space above the land and water)
2. Any act outside the state leads to planning or conducting a crime within Arizona
3. Any act inside Arizona that leads to planning something illegal (according to Arizona law) in another state
4. A person who has a legal duty in Arizona fails to live up to their legal duty, regardless of where their actions are
5. Arizona law specifically prohibits conduct outside of the state
6. For any homicide where the body is found in Arizona, the death is presumed to have happened in Arizona
Most of the time, if a person commits crimes in different states (whether the crimes are the same or not), each of the states where he committed the crimes has jurisdiction. In addition, in some situations, more than one state may have jurisdiction over the same crime and a state can typically exercise jurisdiction over an offense which takes place at least partly outside of its borders.