Extradition To And From Colorado
The extradition of people to other states by Governor’s Warrants is becoming more common for criminal defense lawyers in the Denver area. In addition, Colorado police agencies are seeking to extradite more men and women back to Colorado from other states. Below, you will find many of the basics of the court process of Colorado Extradition.
The Uniform Criminal Extradition Act
While Colorado is a sovereign state and able to create its own laws, we have found it mutually advantageous to reach an agreement with other states to be sure each of our laws is obeyed and that violators cannot flee and hide across state borders. This uniform agreement between states is detailed at C.R.S. 16-19-104. Here, the law is defined on the demand (extradition) process one state must follow to request another state to seize and return a fugitive to Colorado. We are bound by the same provisions when other states seek the return of someone wanted for a crime in their state, known as a “foreign fugitive.” This agreement between states is called the Uniform Criminal Extradition Act.
How The Extradition Process Begins – A Governor’s Warrant
When a wanted person is located in Jefferson, Douglas or Denver County, they can be arrested and extradited under the foreign state’s Governor’s Warrant, generally listed on our country’s NCIC (National Crime Information Center) computer. Due to the cost of extradition, other states (called foreign states to Colorado) only seek to extradite for serious felonies like sexual assault or murder (also known as homicide). To begin this process, the foreign state will demand the production of the wanted person in writing, and that document is verified by the governor of the foreign state.
Colorado’s Role Upon Receipt Of Another State’s Extradition Request
Once Colorado receives the correct demand in writing, the Colorado governor scrutinizes whether proper procedures have been followed to obligate him to arrest the wanted person and deliver him or her to the governor of the foreign state. If everything is correct in the foreign governor’s request, the Colorado governor then executes a Governor’s Warrant, commanding the arrest of the individual sought by the foreign state. If this person is not already in custody based on the original out of state arrest warrant, the Colorado governor’s warrant will cause the wanted person to be arrested in Adams or Arapahoe County. Colorado will follow a similar procedure if it wants to extradite someone from another state like Florida, Texas or California.
Procedures For Extradition Warrants Under The Uniform Criminal Extradition Act
Once arrested, the wanted person is entitled to a brief procedural hearing before a Colorado judge to ensure that the extradition is in order. The arrested person can do this by filing a writ of habeas corpus, which is essentially a civil court case. While a wanted person can “waive extradition” to speed their return to another state without a hearing, it is unusual for them to be able to prevent their extradition to another state. The habeas corpus procedure hearing is simplified and not designed to weigh the truthfulness of the charges in the foreign state. The guilt or innocence of the charges is simply not addressed. The hearing is only designed to ensure that proper procedures have been followed under the Uniform Criminal Extradition Act. If everything is correct under the act, the person will be kept in custody until the foreign state comes for the defendant. Most courts will put time limitations on the foreign state to come and retrieve their prisoner. In some cases, we have been able to get the Colorado judge and the foreign state to permit the wanted person to post a bond here in Colorado (or the foreign state) and avoid a lengthy trip on a prisoner van back to the foreign state.
The Uniform Extradition Process Applies To Both Colorado And Other States
The process we’ve discussed on this page will also apply to people living in other states and wanted under a Colorado arrest warrant. If your friend or family member is in another state and has been arrested for return to Colorado, call us at once. We can help your loved one avoid a lengthy trip back to Colorado and protect their rights once they arrive here. Plus, there are serious constitutional rights involved in the transfer of people across state lines. Whether being extradited from Colorado or back to Colorado, always be smart, exercise your right to remain silent and contact a criminal attorney at O'Malley and Sawyer, LLC, today, at O'Malley and Sawyer, LLC. Together, we can protect your future.