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What Is Extradition?
Extradition is the process of surrendering an accused or convicted persons from one state to a different state. The purpose of extradition is to prevent a person who has been accused of a crime from escaping, and to ensure their return to the area where the crime occurred. In other words, extradition means returning of the accused to the state where a crime occurred for the purpose of trial.
What Are the Requirements for Extradition?
The process of extradition is generally reserved for serious crimes, nearly all of which are felonies. Other requirements to extradite a person include:
- The presence of the fugitive has been demanded by the proper authority.
- The authority requesting extradition must provide copies of appropriate documents.
- The documents must state charges against the fugitive for a crime or crimes, including felonies, treason, or other offenses.
- The request must be received by an executive of the state where the crime was originally committed.
- An agent of the state requesting extradition must make an appearance, usually within 30 days, to receive the prisoner.
- If no agent has appeared within the 30 day time period, the prisoner may be legally discharged.
Who Is Subject to Extradition?
Persons who have been charged with a crime but have not been tried yet may be extradited. Extraditable persons also include those who have been tried and convicted but have escaped custody, and persons who have been subject to conviction in absentia, which means "without appearing in court."
Can Extradition Be Refused or Contested?
Extradition may be refused or contested under the following circumstances:
- The documents for extradition are not properly in order
- The person in question has not been properly charged with a crime in the state requesting the extradition
- The person has not been properly named in the extradition request
- The person in question is not a fugitive
Can Extradition Proceedings Be Helpful?
Extradition is an important procedural aspect in the administration of justice. A fugitive can also be subject to international extradition. In the event of a request for extradition, particularly international extradition, proceedings can help by:
- Determining whether a person who has been arrested in the United States must be surrendered to a foreign country
- Confirming whether the alleged crime is included in any extradition agreements between the U.S. and a foreign country
- Determining whether a warrant may be properly issued to the suspect if there is no treaty or extradition agreement
- Deciding whether there is sufficient evidence to make an arrest and detain the person until a foreign nation submits an extradition request
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with Extradition Proceedings?
Extradition proceedings can raise some very serious issues with regards to a person’s individual liberty and rights. If you are involved in an extradition request, it is important that you speak with a criminal lawyer immediately. Extraditions always involve multiple jurisdictions, and so it may be necessary to hire an attorney for representation. Your attorney can help you determine your rights and zealously put forth any defenses.
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Last Modified: 08-20-2014 10:16 AM PDT
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