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Extradition

You may have heard the term “Extradition” used in reference to international criminal matters, but this process may occur at the state level as well. Arizona law specifically addresses this issue in A.R.S. §13-3855 and §13-3857, which give a jurisdiction 90 days to pick up a defendant wanted in that state from Arizona for transfer out of the state. Although most defendants tend to waive their rights and voluntarily accept being transferred to the jurisdiction requesting the process, it is possible to fight the process. Defendants have the legal right to challenge all of the other jurisdiction’s allegations contained in the charging document, which requires the jurisdiction to adequately demonstrate probable cause for the charges it has brought is rare to have an extradition requesting a defendant be transferred out of the country; the most common situation is an interstate transfer. In the interstate context, the state of Arizona will usually have issued a Fugitive of Justice Warrant for an outstanding felony charge, and sometime later the defendant is apprehended in a different state. While most states require Arizona to physically send one of its officers to pick up the defendant within 30 days, in the case of major felonies — class one, two, or three — the state may transport the defendant to Arizona on its own. Sometimes, this takes up to two weeks, as the state arranges for the defendant to gradually make his way back by hopping from prison bus to prison bus

The Law Offices of David Michael Cantor can help you fight the removal process by requiring the other jurisdiction to produce a Governor’s Warrant. Such a warrant requires the Governor of the charging jurisdiction to review the prosecutor’s charges, then send the warrant and supporting documentation to Arizona’s Governor. After reviewing the paperwork, Arizona’s Governor then may issue a Warrant of Extradition. Even if this warrant is issued, the defendant can fight further, through a special hearing.

Warrants requesting the transfer of a defendant can be challenged in a variety of ways, such as through an Identity Hearing, which requires the jurisdiction to confirm the person charged is actually the person in custody. An identity mix-up may occur where friends or roommates arrange for the underage individual to borrow the other’s ID for access to bars. If, at the Identity Hearing, it is shown that the fingerprints of the named individual do not match those of the party in custody, the defendant in custody must be released.

The Habeas Corpus process also allows defendants to challenge a warrant on factual grounds. The term “Habeas Corpus” comes from Latin and generally translates to “that you have the body,” referencing the defendant in custody. A writ of Habeas Corpus is a filing with the court which is most often submitted to ensure that the defendant is not being wrongfully or illegally detained. This is accomplished by testing the legality of the detention or arrest, and can also be used to address the appropriateness of the court’s jurisdiction, the amount of — or right to — bail, and the legality of the transfer process. While the Writ of Habeas Corpus is most frequently used in the federal court context, state courts have equivalent procedures. If the Writ of Habeas Corpus is denied, however, the jurisdiction seeking the defendant will be notified and its law enforcement officers will be permitted to pick up the defendant for transfer.

A criminal lawyer from DM Cantor can try to arrange for a “self-surrender”, which entails a meeting between the local judge and the prosecutor to secure an agreement that the defendant will be released in exchange for the promise to appear in Arizona by a certain deadline.

DM Cantor features many former prosecutors who know how to negotiate with those bringing charges against you. Every lawyer at the firm is listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers®, and the firm itself has achieved the highest Martindale Hubbell® rating of AV®. Additionally, David Michael Cantor has been Certified as a Criminal Law Specialist per the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization. For more information and a free consultation, contact the firm at 602-737-2812 or via our confidential online contact form.

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