What Is a Waiver of Extradition?
- A waiver of extradition means the defendant is relinquishing their right to an extradition hearing.
- Waivers to international extraditions occur when the defendant asks to be returned to the requesting jurisdiction without an extradition hearing. Waivers to U.S. state extradition hearings are similar, however, each U.S. state has its own procedures and laws pertaining to waivers.
- Sometimes a defendant will choose to waive extradition because the defendant wants to create the appearance that they are willing to cooperate and hopes to achieve a lesser sentence.
- The desire to avoid the excess time, expense, and frustration involved in a protracted extradition are other reasons to waive extradition.
- Despite international and state extradition proceedings, the implications of a waiver could depend on the countries or states involved and the offenses alleged in the extradition request.
- Consider hiring an attorney who understands extradition waivers and is competent to apply their possible consequences to individual circumstances.
Experienced Defense Team
Do not hesitate to contact one of our defense attorneys if you need advice regarding waivers of extradition and the consequences that could result from such a waiver.
Although a waiver can sometimes present challenges to the extradition process, it can also be viewed as a positive step towards resolving the controversy. A lot depends on the countries involved and the offenses alleged.
It is critical that you employ an experienced attorney who understands the implications of a waiver and has an in-depth understanding of the entire extradition process.
At Oberheiden, P.C., our firm has a unique scope of knowledge in international and interstate extraditions involving various issues, including high-profile and sensitive policy issues. We routinely maintain healthy contacts with local lawyers, specialists, and other expert witnesses in foreign jurisdictions and have the expertise to advise our clients on waivers of extradition.
Do not hesitate to get in touch with one of our attorneys today so we can provide counsel and assurance on the complex process of extradition waivers.
In the most basic of terms, a waiver of extradition refers to the act of relinquishing the defendant’s right to an extradition hearing and other extradition procedures.
In the usual case, before the defendant is extradited, they will receive an extradition hearing. At this hearing, a judge decides whether or not the defendant should be transferred back to the country or state that is requesting the extradition.
When the defendant waives extradition, they will voluntarily be returned to the requesting jurisdiction without the need to proceed with the typical extradition procedures.
International Extradition Waivers
International extraditions are governed by treaty. When the defendant waives or consents to extradition, they are asking to be returned to the requesting country without the benefits of an extradition hearing.
Extradition hearings after the 1980s will typically contain a specific provision for waiver. Older treaties may not contain a comparable provision that allows the defendant to waive extradition. In such a case, if the defendant attempts to request a waiver, it may be denied.
Sometimes, waivers can be viewed as an alternative to international extradition because it avoids the lengthy process of requesting the defendant, sharing documents, and having a formal hearing on the extradition.
This hearing determines whether the defendant should be extradited. It includes the transmission of documents, the completion of mass amounts of paperwork, and the determination of whether the offenses are covered in the treaty and not an otherwise prohibited offense. If the court concludes that the defendant is extraditable, the judge will certify the extradition and send the defendant to the Secretary of State, who then proceeds to transfer the defendant.
Sometimes, the defendant may waive this entire process and consent to extradition. In such a case, the defendant voluntarily agrees to leave the country of refuge and is transferred to the requesting country.
By waiving their right to an extradition hearing, the defendant essentially acknowledges that the extraction requirements have been satisfied. The defendant will sign an Affidavit of Consent to Extradition or another comparable form under the extradition treaty. The Affidavit basically notes that the defendant is waiving their right to a hearing and the right to fight the extradition.
At this point, the judge is responsible for determining whether this waiver was made knowingly and voluntarily. If the judge decides that this standard has been satisfied, they will certify the extradition and transfer the matter to the Department of State to complete the extradition process.
Interstate Extradition Waivers
Extradition waivers are generally completed and accepted as a part of a larger plea agreement at the state-to-state level. In the event the defendant decides to waive extradition, the defendant is taken into custody and returned to the requesting state for prosecution of the alleged offenses.
Each U.S. state has its own procedure and laws regarding extradition waivers.
Why Would the Accused Consent to a Waiver of Extradition?
There are a number of reasons why someone may prefer to waive extradition proceedings. The main reason is that the facts are undisputed, and the defendant is attempting to show the other country or U.S. state that they are willing to cooperate.
Other reasons include the idea that waivers suggest to the requesting authority that the defendant will not challenge the extradition, file a writ of habeas corpus, or otherwise attempt to challenge the request and run away from the law.
Another reason could be that the defendant may also simply wish to avoid the excess time, expense, and frustration of an otherwise pointless extradition challenge.
Waivers are similarly requested because the defendant hopes they will receive leniency in their proceedings and ultimate sentence.
Nevertheless, a large amount depends on the countries or states involved and the offenses alleged in the extradition request. For example, it can impact subsequent requests and procedures followed by the requesting authority as well as bail proceedings.
As a result, the decision of whether or not to pursue an extradition waiver can be a confusing one. Our team of attorneys can explain whether it is better to waive or challenge the extradition process.
Get in touch with a qualified attorney knowledgeable in all aspects of extradition waivers for your unique case.
Need Advice on Extradition Waivers?
The advantages of waiving the extradition process can vary from case to case, so it is important to understand whether it would benefit your particular situation.
Our attorneys are experts in criminal law and the federal process regarding extradition requests and challenges. We are trained to fight extradition requests even before extradition proceedings have even begun.