Unfortunately for our legal system, crimes committed in a foreign country trigger a whole host of laws and procedures that must be followed in order to successfully extradite the target. If you are the target of an international extradition, it is imperative that you act quickly to protect yourself.
At Haas Law, we have the skills and experience necessary to successfully defend clients who are the subject of an international extradition request. We are dedicated to zealously defending your rights and preventing your extradition.
What Is International Extradition?
International extradition is the formal process by which a person found in one country is surrendered to another country for trial or punishment. Typically, the process by which international extradition is requested and granted is regulated by a treaty between the Federal Government of the United States and the corresponding government of another country. Sometimes, however, a foreign government will grant extradition without a treaty in place.
How Does International Extradition Work?
Extraditing an individual from a foreign country to the U.S. to stand trial or serve a sentence is a highly complex and time-consuming process. The process and procedures involved in an international extradition may vary considerably depending on the country involved, the alleged crimes, and the target’s unique history and characteristics. One thing all extradition requests have in common, however, is that every formal request for international extradition based on Federal criminal charges must be reviewed and approved by the Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs (OIA). If the extradition request is based on state criminal charges, OIA may review the case before sending it on to the Department of State. Either way, the prosecuting attorney must present convince the OIA that the fugitive in question qualifies for extradition.
Once an initial determination of eligibility has been made by OIA, either a formal request for extradition or a request for provisional arrest will be sent to the appropriate foreign court or other body responsible for determining whether the requirements of the treaty and the country’s domestic law have been met. If the request for extradition is approved, transportation of the fugitive to the United States will be arranged.
Are There Defenses to Extradition?
Given the complex nature of the extradition process, it is impossible to know what defenses might be available to someone hoping to avoid extradition without a detailed review of the facts and circumstances by an experienced attorney. Several possible avenues of defense to extradition, however, include:
- Exceptions – most treaties have exceptions built into them that may provide a viable defense. For example, many treaties allow a foreign country to refuse to extradite an otherwise eligible fugitive if the U.S. plans to pursue the death penalty.
- Doctrine of Specialty – in essence, this doctrine says that a fugitive who is extradited can only be prosecuted for the crime that was alleged in the request for extradition.
- Statute of Limitations – if the applicable statute of limitations has already run out, extradition may not be allowed.
- Probable Cause – every prosecution pursued by the state or federal government must meet the “probable cause” requirement found in the Constitution.
- Procedural Errors – one of the most common defenses to extradition is a procedural error. The convoluted steps necessary to affect extradition can cause procedural errors. Those errors can then be used to argue against extradition.
Get Help from Experienced Orlando International Extradition Federal Defense Attorney
If you are the target of an extradition request, either to or from the U.S., consult with an experienced international extradition defense attorney immediately to ensure that your rights are protected.
At Haas Law, our experienced international extradition defense attorneys have the experience and dedication needed to protect you and your rights if you are the target of a request to extradite. We look forward to working with you.
Call us at 407-755-7675, chat with us online, or submit our online form today. Because we understand that time is of the essence when federal law enforcement authorities are investigating you, our calls are answered 24 hours a day, allowing you to schedule an appointment as soon as possible to discuss your legal options.