Extradition pertains to bringing a suspected or convicted criminal back to the state or country where the crime was committed. It is often an international process, and within its complexity involves bi-national treaties, the federal government and the court system. This formal procedure typically starts when the offender is accused or convicted in one particular country and then flees to another. The penalties are severe, and the case has to be handled by an experienced attorney who is familiar with international law. Fugitives can be extradited to enforce a sentence, to impose a sentence or to prosecute.
Accused individuals sometimes choose to hide from punishment, especially if the charges are extensive and require hefty fees or prolonged prison time. Regardless of the charges, the process of extradition in Texas is the same in all cases and includes the following:
- The alleged fugitive is arrested in another jurisdiction and brought back to the jurisdiction where the crime took place.
- The crime was committed elsewhere, and the jurisdiction is asking for the accused to be sent back.
- The arrested individual agrees to go back willingly.
- A hearing is held to decide if the fugitive should be sent back.
Extradited to the U.S. Before Proceedings Begin
Over 100 governments around the globe have an agreement with the United Sates, and the extradition is controlled by treaties that operate under the international law and follow similar protocols. Federal prosecution can indict the criminals under the terms and regulations of the treaty. The accused may be confined to jail in any city, county or state he may be passing through and must be kept safe until he is transported to the proper jurisdiction.
Extradition Refusal by Other Countries
Several countries are not affiliated with the United States under the treaty, including North Korea and China. Criminal suspects can enter these countries and potentially remain in hiding forever. A country can refuse the request for extradition if the following conditions are present:
- The possibility of the death penalty in the jurisdiction of the crime.
- The accused is a citizen of the country he is presently hiding in.
- For political crimes, further investigation may be needed to prove guilt.
For additional information about the process of extradition, talk to Houston criminal attorney Mario Madrid and the Madrid Law staff at 713-877-9400 to get a free case evaluation.