Extradition is something we watch on the news all the time. Famous extradition cases involved various personalities such as Joaquin Guzman, aka El Chapo, considered to be the most powerful drug trafficker in the world, extradited from Mexico to the U.S. Another is Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency computer programmer who collected and leaked classified NSA documents and fighting extradition to the U.S. Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder is facing a U.S. extradition case for leaking confidential U.S. documents through his website. These are just some of the well-known international criminals that were the subjects of extradition proceedings. But how does one define extraditions?
The first step you should take upon being arrested for a crime or offense or if you have an outstanding warrant of arrest is to get in touch with experienced Arizona criminal defense lawyers who can help you through the entire extradition process.
Extradition refers to the legal process wherein an accused criminal is transferred or surrendered by one state or country to another for trial, punishment, or rehabilitation. An extradition treaty prevents people who are charged with crimes from being able to flee to another state or country to avoid prosecution. Extradition proceedings are serious matters. Whether the underlying charge is a misdemeanor or felony, you may be immediately incarcerated upon detainment — even if you have not been convicted of the charges of the criminal case against you.
The objective of extradition is to make sure you are held and transported by the arresting jurisdiction to the requesting jurisdiction for your trial. The arresting jurisdiction There are three types of extradition cases: international extradition, interstate extradition, and intrastate extradition.
International extradition cases are distinctly different than interstate extradition cases. Where most states freely extradite detainees under the Uniform Criminal Extradition Act, international extradition cases are subject to complex international laws. International treaties, policies, and procedures must be evaluated and respected. Cases involving individuals seeking asylum are even more complicated.
Interstate extradition cases are also slightly different than intrastate extradition cases, as interstate extradition requests may need to proceed through the governor’s office via a governor’s warrant. In intrastate extradition cases, it’s often as simple as the other county arranging for transport.
Extradition is covered by the US Constitution, federal statutory provisions, and the Uniform Criminal Extradition Act. The latter is intended to supplement federal law, providing guidelines and procedures which permit extradition under circumstances and through procedures not articulated in the Federal statute. Following are the requirements which must be met:
The UCEA is not mandatory and only 48 states, including Arizona, have adopted it. A state that hasn’t adopted the UCEA has its own extradition law that complies with the federal statute.
Whether you are fighting extradition out of the state of Arizona or attempting to not be extradited back, you need to contact a skilled Arizona defense attorney to help. There are many ways that an attorney can challenge an extradition request. This can include:
The term habeas corpus is Latin for “produce the body” and literally means that law enforcement must produce a body of proof as to why the wanted person should be detained.
If you are an Arizona resident with an outstanding warrant for your arrest in another state or country, your attorney can either quash the warrants or arrange for your voluntary surrender in front of a judge. The judge may or may not be willing to drop the underlying charges but this enables the arresting state to release you upon an agreement that you will appear in the charging state’s court at an arranged date, avoiding the prospect of extradition altogether.
If extradition is unavoidable, getting a good extradition lawyer can at least ensure your rights are respected and you’re treated fairly throughout the extradition process. Your attorney may be able to negotiate for your temporary release on the condition that you will voluntarily surrender to authorities in the requesting jurisdiction. When such a request is approved, you’ll generally have up to two weeks to get your affairs in order and travel to the requesting jurisdiction before surrendering to the authorities there.
In the video, Board Certified Criminal Attorney Howard Snader discussed the definition of extradition in Arizona and the laws governing it. He emphasizes the consequences of missing a court date, being accused of a crime, and how an arrest warrant is obtained.
There are several precise requirements that must be followed in extraditing a criminal defendant between states. It can be a scary and confusing process but you don’t have to go through that alone. Getting a good criminal defense lawyer to represent you in legal proceedings is the smartest move you can make to help protect your rights and ensure the best possible defenses to extradition and the underlying criminal charges you may be facing. An experienced criminal defense attorney may fight for a lower sentence or better yet, have charges against you dismissed altogether. Call us at Howard Snader law for legal advice or a free initial consultation.