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Extradition from Florida

If you’re in Florida and are wanted for crimes in another state, that state will want you back to face charges in their courtroom. The process by which another state demands that Florida take you into custody and return you to them is called extradition. Different states will demand extradition for different crimes, but if you’re in the St. Petersburg area, they have to go through Florida state courts before they can take you away. In those proceedings, you have a right to be represented by a local criminal defense attorney who can fight the extradition attempt.

St. Petersburg Extradition Lawyer

St. Petersburg extradition lawyer Melinda Morris, of the Morris Law Firm, P.A., is an experienced former prosecutor who understands the criminal justice system and will put her knowledge to work for you. Melinda Morris can be your local St. Petersburg lawyer representing you in extradition proceedings. Whatever your circumstances, whether you broke parole back home or have been charged in another state for crimes, Melinda Morris will zealously defend your rights. Call the Morris Law Firm, P.A. today at (727) 388-4736 for a free consultation about your extradition proceedings.

Melinda Morris can fight extradition charges brought in Pinellas County, including for clients currently residing in St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Pinellas Park, Dunedin, Palm Harbor and Gulf City.

Florida Extradition Information Center

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Procedures for Extradition from Florida

It’s the decision of each state whether to demand extradition. Each state has different standards for making the decision to attempt to extradite a person. Generally, states will not demand extradition for misdemeanors or minor infractions, and the U.S. Constitution only demands that states provide for extradition in the case of felonies and treason. It can often be an individual decision of the prosecutors, based on the facts of your case, whether to seek extradition.

Congress passed the Uniform Criminal Extradition Act (UCEA) in 1985, setting up a process for interstate cooperation for returning fugitives back to the state or district that is demanding them. All 50 states, including Florida, have adopted most of the provisions of the UCEA. Generally, all states require:

  • A valid arrest warrant in the state requesting extradition (called an “extradition warrant”).
  • A formal written request for extradition from the governor or other executive authority.
  • A hearing in a court to determine if there are sufficient facts to support the request for extradition, and that all legal formalities have been complied with. The person the state is seeking to extradite must be allowed to be represented by a lawyer in these hearings.
  • The person the state is seeking to extradite may waive the requirement for a hearing.
  • Once either the court has conducted the hearing and found sufficient facts and that legal requirements have been met or the person waives the hearing, the demanding states has 30 days to take custody and transport the person.

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Defenses to Extradition in Pinellas County

If you are arrested in St. Petersburg on an extradition warrant from another state, you have a right to represented in the subsequent hearing by a St. Petersburg criminal defense attorney. Your attorney can challenge the request. Issues frequently include:

  • Documentation: Florida courts require the state demanding extradition to provide documentation of the original offense, including a copy of the indictment, an affidavit from the state, or a copy of a judgment of conviction or sentence imposed, and statement by the state’s executive authority that the person has escaped a confinement or broken the terms of his or her bail, probation or parole. These documents must be authenticated by the executive authority.
  • Identification: One of the original purposes of the UCEA was to insure that the correct person is extradited. For the state of Florida to extradite a person, the requesting state must prove that the person in custody is, in fact, the person they are seeking to extradite. A St. Petersburg extradition attorney can challenge their evidence as insufficient or incorrect.

Keep in mind that only a lawyer who is licensed in the state of Florida can represent you in the extradition proceedings in St. Petersburg.

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Extradition Bonds in St. Petersburg

If the state demanding extradition is able to prove their case, Florida will keep the person to be extradited in custody. However, the person’s criminal defense lawyer may be able to convince the judge to allow for an extradition bond.

An extradition bond is an amount of money you post that serves as a sort of deposit on your promise to turn yourself over to authorities, either here in Florida or the state demanding your extradition, at a certain date. It means that you will be able to wrap up important business in Florida before traveling to the state demanding your extradition to deal with the criminal matters there. In many cases, it also means you’ll be able to travel on your own to the state demanding extradition, as opposed to being escorted there by law officials.

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Pinellas County Extradition Resources

Florida Law on Extradition: These are the state statutes that involve extradition in Florida.

Extraditions Laws in the United States: Wikipedia article detailing laws regarding extradition in the United States.

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Morris Law Firm, P.A. | Pinellas County Attorney for Extradition Hearings

If another state is seeking to transport you from Pinellas County, Florida, to face charges, you can fight the attempts with the help of aggressive St. Petersburg extradition lawyer Melinda Morris of the Morris Law Firm, P.A.. Contact us today at (727) 388-4736 for a free consultation.