What To Know About Extradition And Your Legal Rights
Extradition is the process of bringing a person back to Florida from another state to answer for criminal charges. Through this procedure, the Florida fugitive is held in custody in another state so law enforcement officials can transport them back to Florida when an arrest warrant is outstanding.
What is a “fugitive”? A fugitive is anyone charged with a felony or misdemeanor crime in Florida who is deemed to have fled from justice to another state. Unlike the popular concept of a fugitive, individuals can be fugitives even if they never fled to avoid prosecution, or even if they made no efforts to conceal their whereabouts.
How does extradition work in Florida? Chapter 941 of the Florida Statutes outlines in detail how extradition procedures work when someone is wanted in Florida and found by authorities in another state. Similarly, it governs what happens if a person is held in Florida while wanted in another state. Under Florida law, a person charged with a crime in another state can be held up to 30 days before receipt of a request for extradition from the state having jurisdiction over the offense and the issuance of an extradition warrant.
Under Florida Statute Sec. 941.16, a person held in Florida for extradition can be granted bail under certain conditions. A skilled criminal defense attorney can help make an argument for bail, if the facts warrant release of the suspect.
Extradition laws are intended to discourage people from fleeing across state lines simply to avoid prosecution. They also provide incentives for wanted suspects and offenders to return voluntarily to the county in which a warrant is pending.
Federal law also addresses the issue of extradition. Under 18 U.S.C. Sec. 3182, (the “Uniform Criminal Extradition Act”). Most states have adopted the Uniform Criminal Extradition Act (UCEA) and Florida is among them. As such, Florida is not a “non-extradition” state. Meanwhile, all 50 states in the United States will extradite a fugitive from their state to another that
How Can a Criminal Defense Attorney Help in Florida Extradition Cases?
Out-of-state defendants facing charges in Florida might find themselves facing extradition to Florida if they return to their home state. If an individual is arrested in the state of Florida on an extradition warrant from another state, they also have a right to be represented in the hearing by a Florida criminal defense attorney. In these challenging circumstances, the attorney can represent their client aggressively and negotiate terms and conditions during pretrial matters. An effective defense attorney can even negotiate dismissal of the case in some situations.
A knowledgeable defense attorney can also argue for favorable bail and bond terms when appropriate, and use their knowledge of Florida law to a defendant’s advantage.
If You Have Face Extradition To or From Florida, the Tampa Criminal Defense Attorneys at Trombley & Hanes Can Help
The extradition process can be an intimidating and overwhelming scenario for criminal defendants. For most individuals, this will be their first time labeled as a “fugitive” and facing the prospect of extradition across state lines. At Trombley & Hanes, our Tampa criminal lawyers share your concerns and will fight aggressively on your behalf in extradition cases.