Extradition is the process by which a person who is charged with a crime may be forced to return to the State where the charges are pending. In New Jersey, the procedures that must be followed are governed by several statutes and Court Rules. As with many circumstances involving the criminal law, this is a time when an experienced criminal defense lawyer like those at Bailey & Orozco can make a substantial difference in the outcome of these types of proceedings.
In general, when a person is being extradited, the state who wants the person is called the "requesting state" and the state where the person is being held while a determination is being made whether to extradite is called the "sending state". In many circumstances, the Court will require the person being held to return to the 'requesting' state to answer the criminal charges. This can be by Court Order; or, by the Court accepting a 'waiver' of extradition by the person who is being extradited.
Whether a 'waiver' should be agreed to, or whether the extradition should be opposed should be decided after a thorough examination of the legal basis for the extradition by a criminal defense lawyer like Howard W. Bailey. This examination must include a review of the grounds on which extradition can be successfully fought; and, a review of the legal/tactical basis for either fighting or 'waiving' extradition.
In deciding whether to 'waive' or fight extradition, the criminal charges that are the basis of the extradition request are not litigated, only whether the extradition should be granted. The criminal charges in the 'requesting' state can only be addressed and defended against in the courts of the 'requesting state'.
Whether the person being extradited is in custody or not is one of the most important considerations in deciding whether to fight or 'waive' extradition. A person who is being extradited and is in custody can request that the Court set a bail for his release while he fights the extradition, or voluntarily returns to the 'requesting' state. Several considerations will affect the setting of the bail. Among these considerations are the type of charges that are pending in the 'requesting' state; and, the prior criminal record of the person who is being extradited.
When confronted with being extradited, the two most important things that you can do are to:
- Ask for a Lawyer.
- Do not talk to anyone about what happened in the 'requesting state', without your lawyer telling you it is all right to talk.
Among your constitutional rights, is the right to be represented by a lawyer; and, the right to remain silent. If you are being extradited, you are charged with a crime in the 'requesting state. A criminal defense lawyer who knows what to do when he is representing you during an extradition, can make certain you do nothing that will affect your ability to hear the words, "Not Guilty", when your case is over.
When the police talk to you about the extradition, tell them "I want a lawyer". Tell them you want a criminal defense lawyer. Tell them you will not talk about your case until your criminal defense lawyer is there beside you. If you call Bailey & Orozco, we will be there as your criminal defense lawyer to help you decide whether you should fight the extradition or 'waive' to go back and fight the charges.
IMPORTANT: Do not try to explain what happened that resulted in you being extradited. Do not try to tell your side of the story. That is a job for your criminal defense lawyer. Do not give a statement without a lawyer. Telling the officer "your side" of what happened is the same as writing it down and signing it.
Do not sign anything before you write "I WANT A LAWYER", and then you can sign your name. If you protect yourself this way, a criminal defense lawyer like Howard W. Bailey can use your assertion of your constitutional rights to protect you. Then you can make an intelligent decision whether you should agree to be extradited.
When asked by the police, tell them your name, address, phone number and other information that identifies who you are. After you have given them this type of information, do not talk about the incident or offer any other information. This is not a social encounter. Anything you say can be used against you. A statement does not need to be a formal written statement signed by you in order for it to be used against you. This is the time to BE SILENT.
Consultation with a Criminal Defense Lawyer
Within twenty-four hours of the arrest on the extradition warrant:
Call a Criminal Defense Lawyer like those at Bailey & Orozco. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can result in the setting of a bail pending the extradition hearing; an intelligent decision of what benefit you get from fighting or waiving extradition; and, if you are 'waiving' a quicker return to the 'requesting state'.
Ask the lawyer how much experience they have as a criminal defense lawyer. How much of their practice is criminal defense? An experienced criminal defense lawyer should already have handled extradition hearings for other clients like you.
What to bring when you (or your family) meet with the Criminal Defense Lawyer:
All documents you have received regarding this extradition;
All documents regarding any prior arrests or convictions, and the incident for which you are being extradited;
Considerations to discuss with the Criminal Defense Lawyer:
The nature of the crimes you are charged with;
The alternatives of fighting or waiving extradition;
What the Court will do with your case.