Extradition

What if you have an outstanding felony warrant in Palm Beach County, FL, but you are residing outside the state of Florida? You can be extradited back to the Palm Beach County Jail on any type of felony charge issued in this county from any place in the United States. As a practical matter, Florida will not extradite a person on a misdemeanor warrant.

What is extradition? The term "extradition" means the process of detaining a person on the outstanding warrant when that person is outside of the state of Florida so that person can be transported back to Florida to face the court and the charges.

Extradition is particularly time consuming and expensive. How long does the extradition take? In most cases, the person is detained in the asylum state for less than 30 days if they waive extradition, although it might take much longer.

After that delay, a bus will pick you up at the jail and drive you and several other inmates to many stops between the place where you are being detained and the place where your charges are pending. In some cases, people are on the bus for more than a week during the extradition process as they travel from jail to jail to pick up or drop off inmates.

To add insult to injury, the court will then try to add the cost of extradition to your sentence if you enter a plea to the underlying charges or are found guilty at trial. If those extradition expenses are not paid, a lien can be placed against you.

Attorney for Extradition to West Palm Beach, FL

If you have an outstanding warrant for your arrest in Palm Beach County, contact us to discuss the case. You can conduct a free warrant search to lookup and confirm the existance of the warrant on the FDLE webiste. You can also perform a free search for the warrant on the Palm Beach County Clerk of Court website or the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office website.

If you are a fugitive from justice because of an outstanding extradition warrant for a case pending in West Palm Beach or Palm Beach County, FL, then contact the criminal defense attorneys at Meltzer & Bell, P.A.. An attorney might be able to secure your release if the evidence is weak or the case is old. If the attorney cannot secure your release prior to the extradition taking place, the attorney can start working on your case while you are awaiting be transported back so that there is no delay in fighting your charges.

When you arrive in Palm Beach County, FL, you will have a first appearance hearing in front of the judge to address the issue of bond the next morning. If you retain an attorney, you can be ready for the first appearance hearing so that a reasonable bond can be set. In some cases, the court is unwilling to set a bond or will set a hirer bond for a person who is extradited from another state.

From our law firm's offices in West Palm Beach, FL, we represent clients facing extradition to Palm Beach County at the Main Courthouse in West Palm Beach, and to Broward County at the Central Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Our attorneys also represent clients in Fort Pierce and Port St. Lucie in St. Lucie County, Hobe Sound and the Village of Indiantown in Martin County, and in Coral Gables, Hialeah, Miami Beach and Miami in Miami-Dade County, FL.


The Definition of Extradition

Under Florida law, the term "extradition" is defined as the legal process that permits one state (the asylum state) to hold a fugitive wanted in another state (the demanding state) on an extradition warrant. During the extradition process, the demanding state is given a chance to arrange the transportation of the inmate from the asylum state back to the demanding state for trial or sentencing.


Signing the Form to “Waive Extradition”

After you are detained, the court might ask you to "consent to extradition" by signing a document called a “Written Waiver of Extradition Proceedings.” The court might appoint an attorney with the public defender’s office to help you make this decision. You also have the right to hire a private attorney to represent you at any bond hearing in the asylum state.

If you know you are the person wanted in the warrant, then you might decide to consent. If you are not the person wanted or if some other mistake has been made, then you might decide NOT to consent to the extradition. Mistaken identity is only one reason for refusing to consent to the extradition.

For example, Florida Statute Section 941.06 explains the process for the extradition of a person who was not in the demanding state at time of commission of crime and did not flee that state.

You should be aware, however, that by not consenting to the extradition, you might be delaying the time it takes to be transported back to court in Palm Beach County or West Palm Beach, FL.

Procedural rules must be followed before the asylum state will allow the extradition to proceed. The asylum state will confirm that an arrest warrant has actually been issued by the demanding state and that a sworn charing document has been filed that explains the pending charge or charges.

The documents must be certified as authentic by the demanding state and provide enough information to identify the person being held as the person named in the warrant. Most importantly, this documentation must be supplied within the allotted time.


Extradition after a Violation of Probation in West Palm Beach, FL

After a person is put on felony probation in West Palm Beach, FL, the person might leave the state of Florida to live in another state. In some cases, the move out of state is with the permission of the probation officer and in compliance with the interstate compact. In other cases, the probationer simply absconds or flees to another state without the permission of the probation officer.

Either way, if a warrant for the person’s arrest is later issued in Florida, extradition sometimes becomes necessary to bring the person back before the court. In many of these cases, the warrant is extremely old.

If your extradition is for a violation of felony probation in Palm Beach County, it is particularly important that you retain an experienced criminal defense attorney at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. to discuss your case. Important defenses exist in these cases and the judge might be willing to just terminate the probation as unsuccessful before you are ever extradited if your attorney files a motion to terminate the probation.


Additional Resources

Palm Beach County’s Fugitive Warrants Unit - Visit the website of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office to find information on the Fugitive Warrants Unit located in West Palm Beach. The officers in the unit for fugitive warrants will find and apprehend fugitives from justice who have an outstanding felony warrant pending for a case being prosecuted at the courthouse in West Palm Beach, FL. The fugitive warrants unit works with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to manage the transportation of inmates from another state back to the jail in Palm Beach County, FL. The PBSO website also has information on the most wanted fugatives in Palm Beach County.

Florida’s Uniform Interstate Extradition Act in Chapter 941 - Visit the website for the Florida Legislature to find out more about interstate cooperation, the interstate agreement on detainers, and interstate corrections compact, and the uniform interstate extradition.

The Most Wanted Fugatives in Palm Beach County - Visit the website of Crime Stoppers Palm Beach County, Inc., to find the PBSO list of the most wanted fugitives and unsoved crimes. Find a picture of the warrant suspect, their full name, alian, date of birth, description, last known address, occupation, and information on the outstanding felony arrest warrant.


Finding a Lawyer for a Fugitive Extradition to West Palm Beach, FL

If you want to find an attorney for a case involving an extradition back to Palm Beach County, then look no further. Contact us to find out whether we can help you secure a bond so that you can be released from custody in Palm Beach County. We can also help you decide whether you should “waive extradition” by consenting to the process or not.

In some of these cases, the person simply moves out of state prior to the warrant being issued without even knowing about the criminal investigation. In other cases, a person flees the state after finding out that a warrant has been or will be issued for their arrest. Either way, we can help.

If you are being held in another state while awaiting extradition back to West Palm Beach, FL, then contact the lawyers at Meltzer & Bell, P.A.. We can help you understand the pending charges, the typical penalties and the best defenses to fight the case aggressively.

Call (561) 557-8686 today.


This article was last updated on Monday, March 26, 2018.

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