Are you trying to figure out if Florida extradites for misdemeanors, and what are the rules for extradition in the Sunshine State? Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered! This article provides insights into Florida’s extradition laws and practices, shedding light on the prosecutor’s discretion and what to do if you face a fugitive warrant. So, let’s dive into it.
Extradition for Misdemeanors in Florida
No, typically, Florida does not extradite for misdemeanors. Generally, Florida will only extradite on a felony warrant. However, a few exceptions exist for certain misdemeanors. Regardless of the level of offense, Florida does allow the transport of an individual from one county to another based on a misdemeanor warrant.
Often, individuals are arrested on a misdemeanor warrant in Florida during a routine traffic stop, at the airport, bus, or train stations, or even while boarding a cruise ship in the Tampa Bay area. Sometimes, the police might serve an outstanding arrest warrant at your home or workplace.
The Prosecutor’s Discretion in Extradition Cases
The local prosecutor exercises significant discretion when deciding to seek the return of a fugitive from another jurisdiction.
In weighing this decision, the prosecutor might consider:
- The expected outcome if the fugitive is returned and convicted;
- The nature of the proceeding requiring the fugitive’s return;
- The future implications of the prosecutor’s decision;
- The current status of the defendant;
- The expense involved in transportation;
- The probability of conviction once the fugitive is returned to Florida.
While these deliberations are ongoing, an attorney can approach the prosecutor to argue against extradition. Under certain conditions, like a very old case with slim chances of successful prosecution, your attorney may even convince the prosecutor to drop the charges entirely.
Rules for Extradition in Florida
Florida has established procedures for extradition—the process of bringing a person arrested out-of-state back to Florida to face criminal charges. Unfortunately, many individuals end up detained for weeks or even months, unaware of potential options that could help them avoid extradition.
If faced with a fugitive warrant, it’s crucial to contact an attorney where the warrant originated first. Additionally, you might want to engage an attorney in the jurisdiction where you’re currently held, especially if you seek to have bail or bond set for your release should no relief be granted in the issuing state.
The Florida court that issued the warrant can also lift it temporarily or set a reasonable bond, allowing you to voluntarily return to Florida to surrender on the warrant. However, if you waive extradition, you might remain in custody until Florida authorities retrieve you. This process could stretch from 30 to 90 days if you contest extradition.
An experienced criminal defense attorney could navigate the various court options to release you from custody, helping you avoid the costly and time-consuming extradition process. Besides, they can assist in quickly resolving any underlying felony charges while protecting your rights aggressively.
While Florida typically does not extradite for misdemeanors barring a few exceptions, it’s crucial to understand the extradition process and the wide-ranging discretion held by prosecutors. Remember, having an experienced attorney can be pivotal in these situations. Always seek legal advice if you find yourself in such a predicament.