While the term extradition is sometimes heard on television or in movies, it’s a topic that isn’t thoroughly explained in terms of the process and consequences. Within the United States, a person who commits a crime and then flees to another state can be extradited back to the original state in order to be tried for their actions. Similarly, the United States can seek extradition of a person located in another country or a country can seek extradition of a person located in the United States.  It’s essentially a way for other states and countries to not get in the middle of a criminal prosecution, but rather allow the state of origin to continue through the judicial process.

Extradition Locally and Abroad

Just like the other 49 states, Florida participates in extradition. People should not be under any illusion that they can commit a crime elsewhere and then retreat to the Sunshine State to live a life without consequences. The process of state to state extradition is relatively straightforward, where the state of origin will submit an extradition request to the state where the accused has been identified.

It is not up to the state to determine wrongdoing when they receive an extradition request. They simply ensure that all paperwork is in order and complete the process. In fact, the guilt or innocence of the accused may not be inquired into except insofar as to ensure the identity of the person.

Extradition occurs on a global level as well, not just within the United States. Many times individuals will flee to other countries to escape from the justice waiting for them back home. The process of international extradition whether that be in the U.S. or another country, is similar in many ways. There must be a valid treaty between the United States and the country; the crimes alleged to be committed must be criminal activities covered under the treaty; and there must be probable cause that the extraditee has committed the offense.  The standard is fairly simple in that it is evidence sufficient to sustain the charge. There are a few exceptions to when extradition will be denied although, truthfully, they are very rarely applicable.  After the court completes its limited inquiry, the Secretary of State conducts an independent review of the case to determine whether to issue a warrant of surrender.  The Secretary exercises broad discretion and may properly consider a myriad of factors affecting both the individual as well as foreign relations.

Defending an Extradition Case

If you have been charged with a crime elsewhere and extradition is involved, you can hire a defense attorney to help you through the process. Depending on your charges, you may be permitted to post bail in order to return to your home state.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime in another country or state and extradition is being sought, contact The Law Offices of Sabrina Puglisi. We will work with you on your case to resolve it as quickly as possible.