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Extradition to Leon County, Florida

We are often contacted by individuals living out of state who learn that a warrant was issued for their arrest by a judge in Leon County, FL, or the surrounding areas.

For felony arrests warrants, Florida can request that the person is extradited back to Leon County if the person can be found in another state. This process of bringing a person back to Leon County to face charges is called "extradition."


Florida's Extradition Clause

Article Four of the United States Constitution outlines the relationships between the states and the federal government. The second clause in Section Two of Article Four is often referred to as the Extradition Clause which provides:

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.

Because each state is considered to be sovereign over its territory, an alleged offender cannot be prosecuted in a different state from the jurisdiction in which an alleged crime was committed. The Extradition Clause was enacted to prevent people from fleeing states to avoid being brought to justice.

When the state of Florida issues a warrant for the arrest of a person in another state (such as tourists who were arrested while visiting the Sunshine State), the alleged offender may be extradited back to Florida to answer criminal charges—and be required to pay the substantial costs involved with extradition.


Lawyer in Tallahassee for Extradition to Florida

If you or your loved one is facing extradition back to Leon County or a surrounding area of Northern Florida or the Panhandle, then you should immediately retain local legal counsel in the jurisdiction where the case will be prosecuted. The attorneys at the Pumphrey Law in Tallahassee aggressively defend clients with felony warrants for a new felony offense or a violation of probation.

Our Tallahassee criminal defense attorneys represent residents of such communities as Graceville, Perry, Marianna, Malone, Blountstown, Wewahitchka, and Port St. Joe. We represent clients throughout Leon County, FL, and the surrounding counties in the Florida Panhandle.

Call (850) 681-7777 right now to take advantage of a completely free initial consultation that will let our lawyers review your case and help you understand all of your legal options.


Is a Misdemeanor an Extraditable Offenses in Florida

One of the most common questions we get is whether Florida officials can use the extradition process to bring a person back to Florida on a misdemeanor charge. Technically, the answer to that question is yes, although extradition on a misdemeanor is rare.

Under both the Extradition Clause (U.S. Const. Art. IV § 2, cl. 2.) and the Uniform Criminal Extradition Act (§ 941.02, Fla. Stat.), extraditable offenses include any “treason, felony, or other crime.” This broad definition includes every offense against the laws of Florida, regardless of the nature of the crime, including misdemeanors. See Gatewood v. Culbreath, 47 So. 2d 725 (Fla. 1950); State ex rel. Cocchiaro v. Purdy, 260 So. 2d 556 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 3d Dist. 1972).

If you have an outstanding warrant in Florida for any felony or misdemeanor offense, be pro-active in resolving the case. Call us for a free consultation today.


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Types of Extradition Warrants in Florida

When an alleged offender has an outstanding warrant in a county in Florida, a local criminal justice agency may enter that person’s information in the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) if an investigation reveals that the alleged offender may have relocated to another state. The NCIC is a federal database that contains information on fugitives and other people with outstanding warrants in all 50 states.

Law enforcement agencies across the nation can search the NCIC during routine traffic stops. If police officers discover that subjects have records in the NCIC, they are required to contact the agency that entered the information to ensure that it is accurate and then takes whatever action may be required—possibly placing the person under arrest for extradition.

Alleged offenders subject to extradition typically have felony warrants. Florida rarely extradites people for misdemeanor warrants.

Florida law provides for two types of warrants that commonly result in extradition proceedings:

  • Felony Charges — An alleged offender has either been accused of a felony offense or has had a warrant issued for failing to appear in court to answer criminal charges; or
  • Violation of Probation — An alleged offender who was placed on probation or some other form of court supervision leaves the state and fails to report to the assigned probation officer.

When a person has been arrested in another state and is awaiting extradition to Florida, an attorney can take any number of steps to achieve the most favorable outcome to that person’s case.

The lawyer can petition to have the court withdraw a warrant to avoid the very costly process of extradition, possibly having alleged offenders offer to voluntarily return to Florida to turn themselves in. An attorney may also be able to convince a judge to terminate the probation or have the prosecutor drop the criminal charges.


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Requirements of Uniform Criminal Extradition Act

Congress passed the Uniform Criminal Extradition Act (UCEA) to establish the process by which states can request the surrender of alleged offenders and the manner in which those alleged offenders are surrendered. The UCEA has been adopted by most every state in the nation, including Florida.

While there is some slight variation in how states have adopted the UCEA, the act generally provides the following requirements for extradition proceedings:

  • The state requesting extradition must issue a valid arrest warrant;
  • The governor or other executive authority of the state requesting extradition must provide a written request for extradition;
  • The alleged offender subject to extradition is entitled to a hearing and representation by a lawyer to determine if the request for extradition is supported by the facts of the case;
  • The alleged offender may waive the requirement for a hearing. Otherwise, the court must make a judicial finding that the request from the governor or executive of the state requesting extradition satisfies all legal requirements;
  • The state requesting extradition must take custody of and transport the alleged offender within 30 days; and
  • If the state requesting extradition does not take custody within 30 days, the alleged offender may be discharged.

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Florida Extradition Resources

Florida Statutes | Chapter 941 | Corrections: Interstate Cooperation — View the full text of the statutes governing extradition in the state of Florida. Learn more about the form of demand, the manner and place of execution, and the rights of the accused person. You can also find information about forfeiture of bail, costs and expenses, and immunity from service of process in certain civil actions.

FBI | National Crime Information Center — You can learn more about the history and purpose of the NCIC on this section of the FBI website. Information includes the specific files contained in the NCIC database, how the NCIC is used, and what security and quality controls are in place. The website also features recent accomplishments and success stories of the NCIC.


Find a Lawyer for Extradition to Florida in Tallahassee

Are you or your loved one facing possible extradition back to Florida to face criminal charges? Regardless of whether you were arrested because of a warrant for a felony offense or a violation of probation, you should contact the Pumphrey Law as soon as possible.

Our criminal defense attorneys in Tallahassee serve communities in Leon County, Jackson County, Gulf County, Calhoun County, Taylor County, and Madison County. Our firm will provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case as soon as you call (850) 681-7777 or complete an online contact form to schedule a free, confidential consultation.


This article was last updated on Friday, March 11, 2017.