Extradition occurs at the state or national level and happens when the state or a nation requests the return of a suspected or convicted criminal. After a request for extradition has been made, the state or the nation that the criminal is residing in will typically surrender the criminal to the state or nation requesting the criminal’s return, after identification proceedings to determine if the person is actually the criminal the other state is seeking.
Interstate Extradition Process
The United States deals with interstate extradition on a federal level under 18 U.S.C. §3182. Under this, the United States requires the following when a fugitive of justice is involved:
- The jurisdiction where the fugitive fled must have a demand from an executive authority from the State or Territory where the fugitive left.
- The executive making the request must be able to produce a copy of the indictment found or affidavit.
- This document must successfully prove the fugitive has been charged with treason, felony or any criminal activity.
- The document must have been certified as authentic by the governor or chief magistrate.
- The receiving executive must cause the fugitive to be arrested and secured.
- After being notified that the fugitive is secure, an agent of the requesting executive must appear before the fugitive within thirty days or they may be released.
When facing extradition, a person will need an experienced criminal defense attorney in order to avoid going into police custody and being taken to the other state, to face criminal charges. A lawyer may be able to help an individual avoid being taken into custody, or if they have already been taken into police custody, may be able to help ensure they are not transported to the other state for criminal proceedings.
By conducting an independent investigation, a defense attorney may be able to build enough evidence in the person's favor to help him or her avoid extradition proceedings. After a person has had an extradition request made in their name, they will face immediate legal action by local, state, or federal law enforcement. The person will then be subject to a variety of serious legal penalties once they are found and placed under arrest. For this reason, any person who is the subject of extradition should always seek direction from a skilled defense attorney.