Extradition refers to the process of transferring a person arrested in one state for a warrant issued by another state. An attorney can often assist in these cases by scheduling an emergency bond hearing to secure the individual’s release from custody, and by negotiating a resolution to the case.
Extradition is an expensive and time-consuming process that judges and prosecutors often prefer to avoid when the individual is willing to voluntarily return to court. Without an attorney who can assist with a proactive approach, a person arrested on an extradition warrant can often sit in custody for weeks or months before being transferred to the jurisdiction that will ultimately handle the case.
Contact the Skinner Law Firm today at (610) 436-1410 for a consultation about your extradition questions or issues. Attorney Michael J. Skinner represents persons in extradition proceedings to or from Pennsylvania, including the areas of West Chester in Chester County and Delaware County. Michael is a former prosecutor who has the criminal process experience and insight critical to fight for your freedom.
Perhaps the most common type of extradition case involves an individual who is on probation in one state, subsequently, violates that probation, and is then arrested on a warrant issued for the probation violation in another state. In those cases, the judge often signs a no bond warrant, which causes an individual to sit in custody for weeks or months awaiting extradition.
A no bond warrant means the alleged probation offender cannot be released from jail on bond until bail is set by the judge assigned to the case. A judge will not set bail until the alleged offender is in custody in the state where the warrant was originally issued.
It is particularly beneficial to retain an attorney in the jurisdiction where the court originally issued the warrant because that is the location where the person arrested will return to fight the charges against them. Your criminal defense attorney can often request relief from the court even before the extradition occurs, including a request for an emergency bond hearing to set bond, request to lower bond or request to withdraw the warrant.
In extradition cases involving a no bond warrant for violation of probation, your criminal defense attorney can request that the trial court take certain action including terminating the probation without the alleged offender brought back to Pennsylvania.
If the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania seeks to extradite an incarcerated prison from another state or seeks to extradite a person to another state, the procedures and rules are codified in the Uniform Criminal Extradition Act, 42 Pa. Const. Stat. §§ 9121 – 9148.
Pennsylvania’s Uniform Criminal Extradition Act provides that if the prisoner or his attorney raise the issue of the legality of the arrest in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the judge is required to fix a reasonable time for the prisoner to apply for a writ of habeas corpus according to 42 Pa. Const. Stat. § 9131.
Under 42 Pa. Const. Stat. § 9146, a person being detained in Pennsylvania has a right to enter a written waiver of extradition proceedings.
As a general rule, any person arrested in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania who is charged with committing a crime in another state, including violation of probation, violation of parole, or skipping bail may sign a written waiver of extradition form.
The written waiver of extradition form acts to waive the issuance and service of an extradition warrant and all other procedures incidental to extradition proceedings in Pennsylvania. However, the person being held can only waive the extradition proceeding if he agrees to return to the state demanding the return.
The person being held while awaiting extradition is required to be informed of their rights relating to the issuance and service of a warrant of extradition. Additionally, the individual being held is to be informed of the right to file a writ of habeas corpus as provided in 42 Pa. Const. Stat. § 9131, if the legality of the arrest is questioned.
After the waiver of extradition has been signed by the person being held, it will be forwarded to the Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The judge will then direct the officer holding the person in custody to deliver the waiver of extradition form to the demanding state.
If the demanding state fails to arrange for transporting the individual back to that state within a specified period of time, the individual will be released from custody in Pennsylvania. After the release, the individual should retain an attorney in the demanding state to resolve the warrant before another arrest on the warrant is initiated.
West Chester Police Department – The West Chester Police Department is a Pennsylvania law enforcement agency dedicated to protecting and serving the community from criminal acts and enforcing the laws of Pennsylvania. The department is located at:WCPD
Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Online – Title 42 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, also cited as 42 Pa. Const. Stat., contains all of the state’s rules and regulations regarding judiciary and judicial procedure in the state of Pennsylvania. This link goes directly to Chapter 91, which contains information regarding the Uniform Criminal Extradition Act, detainers and extradition in Pennsylvania.
Contact the Skinner Law Firm today for a consultation about your extradition case. Michael J. Skinner will listen to the facts surrounding your case, and make every effort to find the best possible outcome for your situation. Call (610) 436-1410 for a consultation about your extradition to or from Pennsylvania.