A person can become a fugitive from justice if they are no longer in the state where an alleged criminal offense occurred. In some cases, a person may move to a different state without knowing the state has filed criminal charges against that person.
Being a fugitive, however, does not mean the state cannot bring that person back to the state to face criminal charges. Most states have laws that allow the police to send a person accused of a crime back to the state where the crime occurred to stand trial. Minnesota is one of those states.
What Is Extradition?
Extradition allows one state to turn over a person accused or convicted of a crime to the place where the person was charged or convicted. Importantly, this can involve two countries or two states.
The laws of the countries or states involved in a particular transfer will determine how extradition takes place.
What Laws Govern Extradition in Minnesota?
When extradition involves the United States and another country, a criminal will be extradited according to an extradition treaty. But if there is no extradition treaty between the U.S. and the other country, the suspect or convict may avoid trial or prison.
Therefore, fugitives facing extradition to a foreign country should consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney who knows extradition treaties between countries.
For extradition between Minnesota and another U.S. state, the individuall may be extradited under numerous laws. First, the U.S. Constitution includes an extradition clause that applies to all U.S. states.
That clause requires states to return a person who has been charged in any state to the state having jurisdiction over the crime. Second, the Uniform Criminal Extradition Act (UCEA) sets forth processes and requirements for extradition between the states.
Minnesota is one of the forty-eight states that have adopted the UCEA. In particular, Minnesota’s extradition law provides that “it is the duty of the governor of this state to have arrested and delivered up to the executive authority of any other state of the United States any person charged in that state with treason, felony, or other crime, who has fled from justice and if found in this state.”
How Does the Minnesota Extradition Law Work?
Minnesota law enforcement will extradite a fugitive under the following general process:
- The state from which the fugitive fled issues an out-of-state arrest warrant;
- That state enters the arrest warrant into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), which allows Minnesota police to access it;
- Minnesota police arrest the fugitive and notify the issuing state;
- The issuing state requests return of the fugitive;
- The fugitive may choose to waive extradition (meaning he/she voluntarily agrees to return to the original state);
- If the fugitive does not voluntarily agree to return, the governor of the original state must request extradition from the governor of Minnesota;
- If both governors approve the extradition request, Minnesota holds an extradition hearing where a judge decides whether to grant or deny extradition; and
- If granted, Minnesota officials transport the fugitive back to the demanding state.
The same process is usually followed if an individual accused of a crime in Minnesota is living in another state and Minnesota wants that person returned to face prosecution.
Throughout this detailed process, law enforcement may mistakenly violate the fugitive’s rights. That’s why it is so important to contact our experienced criminal defense attorneys at the earliest hint of extradition.
Your Minnesota Criminal Extradition Lawyer
At the Criminal Defense Attorney & Workers’ Compensation Law Offices of Arechigo & Stokka, we know when and how to defend against extradition.
Minnesota Lawyer has recognized criminal defense lawyer, John Arechigo, as an attorney of the year multiple times, including awarding him with the exclusive Circle of Excellence in 2019.
Contact us today for your free consultation to discuss your options.