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PHILADELPHIA EXTRADITION LAWYERS
The Extradition of Fugitives Clause, also called Interstate Rendition,is a clause in the Consitution of the United States. Article IV, Section 2, Clause 2, states, “A person charged in any state with treason, felony, or other crime, who shall flee from justice, and be found in another state, shall on demand of the executive authority of the state from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the state having jurisdiction of the crime.”
18 U.S.C. § 3182 outlines the process by which a state, district or territory of the United States must arrest and turn over a fugitive from another state, district or territory. In order for a fugitive to be extradited interstate, the law requires that:
The executive authority of the state a fugitive has fled from submit a Demand of Extradition to the State which the fugitive has fled to, requesting that the fugitive be arrested and secured and that notice be sent to the requesting authority to take custody of the fugitive. This Demand of Extradition must contain a copy of the indictment and charge the fugitive with having commited a crime and be certified by the Govenor of the State.
The State receiving the request must then have the fugitive arrested and secured, and notify the State demanding Extradition to take custody of the fugitive.
Upon receipt of notice that the fugitive has been secured, an agent of the State demanding extradition must appear to take custody of the prisoner within thirty days from time of the arrest or the prisoner may be released. Some states allow longer waiting periods of up to 90 days before release.
Someone accused of a crime in a different state that flees to Pennsylvania is labeled as aFugitive from Justice “FOJ”. If the fugitive be brought to the attention of the police for any reason the interstate warrant will appear and the police will take them into custody and charge them with being an FOJ, and a bail amount will be set. Pennsylvania is one of the only states in the country that sets bail on FOJ cases.
The Philadelphia court system gives the other States 90 days to produce the Demand of Extradition also known as a “Governor’s Warrant”. If the 90 days lapse, without receipt of the Governor’s Warrant, the case is dismissed and the defendant released, if bail has been paid then bail is returned according to normal court procedures.
If a Governor’s Warrant is received, an extradition hearing will be held before a Judge in Philadelphia Court, to determine whether the defendant held on the FOJ is the same person as the fugitive wanted. Should the judge determine that the fugitive listed in the Demand is not same person as the defendant on the FOJ, the case is dismissed. If the judge determines the person held on FOJ is the same person as the fugitive listed, the judge will order extradition.
The fugitive will be held for 30 days during which time the original State must come and take custody of the fugitive being extradited. Should a defendant not be able to afford bail and wish to avoid the 90 day waiting period pending the Governor’s Warrant, they have the right to waive extradition. When a defendant waives extradition they are ordered extradited and the 30 day time period, for transfer of custody begins immediately.
All of Philadelphia’s orders for extradition include a clause stating “extradited pending the resolution of all matters in Pennsylvania”. If a defendant facing extradition has warrants or open cases in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, they have to complete and resolve those matters prior to the start of the thirty day period transferring custody, no matter how long it takes to do so, furthermore the defendant will be held in custody without bail. A defendant with warrants and/or open cases in the Commonwealth should therefore never waive extradition.
Should the State issuing the Demand for Extradition fail to physically take the fugitive into custody within the 30 day period the defendant is released, or should be. Unfortunately the defendant’s release at the lapse of the 30 day period is not as automatic as it should be and traditionally an Attorney will have to file a habeas petition with motions court to order the Philadelphia Prison System to release the individual.
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