Bond for Extradition in Michigan
Arrested in Michigan and facing extradition to another state? Most people, even lawyers and judges, do not know that Michigan law provides for release from jail on bond while a defendant awaits extradition.
Arrested in Michigan on a Warrant from Another State
Police officers and law enforcement agents arrest people in Michigan for warrants issued in other states. These individuals are unnecessarily kept in custody and forcibly transported across the country. “Extradition” is when the government forcibly transports someone to a state with a pending felony warrant. Very few lawyers have the knowledge and expertise to convince a Michigan judge to order a reasonable bond on an extradition case.
Arrests on out-of-state warrants can happen in a variety of ways. Sometimes, a person may come to the police’s attention by happenstance, for example, during a traffic stop. In other cases, law enforcement seeks out an alleged absconder and takes them into custody. Michigan and other states have fugitive apprehension teams traveling the United States searching for people who are wanted for felony charges. Although a state may seek extradition for any felony offense, some officers will exercise discretion and not extradite for a minor felony charge. In most cases, the extradition process begins when a person is arrested and taken into custody. Without a retained lawyer, judges infrequently grant a bond for extradition.
What is Extradition?
The Extradition Clause in the U.S. Constitution requires states, upon demand of another state, to deliver a fugitive from justice who has committed a felony to the state from which the fugitive has fled. The UCEA (Uniform Criminal Extradition Act) allows the arrest of a fugitive accused of a crime in another state. The crime must have a possible punishment of at least one year in jail.
The Extradition Process – A Basic Explanation
If a person gets arrested on an out-of-state felony warrant, the arresting agency will advise the state’s government that issued the warrant. If the state that issued the warrant demands extradition, it must provide documentation stating that the warrant is valid. Upon receiving proper documentation, the Governor of Michigan must issue a warrant for the person’s arrest. A warrant issued by the Governor of Michigan is a “Governor’s Warrant.” The accused is taken before a judge and can either agree to the extradition or fight it.
If an arrestee agrees to extradition and waives their right to a hearing or a judge rules that the person shall be extradited, the state that issued the original felony warrant has 30 days to pick up the prisoner(18 U.S. Code § 3182). If officials from the state with the pending warrant fail to pick up the person within ten business days, they must be released.
Bond for Person Arrested on an Out-of-State Warrant
Most people, including lawyers and judges, are unaware that the UCEA provides for the release of an arrested person with a bond unless the felony charge is punishable by death, 20 years or more, or an escape-related felony. The Michigan judge must examine the individual’s criminal history and other factors to establish a “reasonable” bond. The bond must require the individual to surrender to the state that issued the original warrant before a specified date or face forfeiture of the posted bond. Only a credible, respected lawyer can persuade a judge to consider releasing an inmate on an extradition bond.
Why would you want to avoid extradition?
Extradition is not a pleasant process and usually involves multiple fugitives transported via bus across the United States in less-than-ideal conditions. Under the UCEA, the prisoner is responsible for the cost of transportation and the salaries of the law enforcement agents and prosecutors involved (including overtime).
Most importantly, a person arraigned in the state that issued the original felony charge will want a reasonable bond so that they do not remain in custody while their case goes through the court system. An unrepresented person who remains in custody while extradited can expect a very high or no bond once they arrive in the warrant-issuing state. A person who voluntarily surrenders on an arrest warrant after being released from jail on a reasonable bond is likelier to stay out of jail or prison. Defendants, free on bond, are generally sentenced to shorter incarceration than those remaining in custody.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Michigan have extradition laws?
Michigan has an extradition law called the Uniform Criminal Extradition Act (UCEA). Under this law, state law enforcement will extradite to and from other states for felony charges, but not misdemeanors.
Will Michigan extradite from another state?
Michigan will extradite a defendant wanted on felony charges from another state.
Will Michigan extradite for a felony?
Yes, Michigan extradites for all felony charges carrying a potential penalty of over one year.
Will Michigan extradite for a misdemeanor?
No, Michigan does not extradite for misdemeanor charges except those carrying a potential sentence of over one year, commonly referred to as “high-court misdemeanors.”
How does the process of extradition work?
Extradition is a legal process that allows one state (an asylum state) to hand over a fugitive to another state (the requesting state) for prosecution or punishment. A person’s name and identifying information are entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) when a warrant is issued. If law enforcement determines that someone has a pending felony charge in another state, they’ll detain the arrestee for extradition to the requesting state. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can request a bond to release their client from custody so they can voluntarily surrender on the charge.
What is an extradition agreement?
Extradition is the official process or agreement under which a fugitive is transported to or from the United States to another country or from one state to another for trial, punishment, or rehabilitation.
How long can you be held in jail awaiting extradition in Michigan?
If someone is detained in Michigan on a felony warrant from another state, the Governor would typically issue a warrant (called a Governor’s Warrant) allowing the police to detain them for up to 30 days or until a hearing with a local court judge.
What are the rules of extradition?
The US Constitution’s Extradition Clause requires states to transfer a fugitive from justice who has committed a “treason, felony, or other crime” to the state from which the fugitive has fled upon the demand of another state. The extradition radius in Michigan is unlimited.
What are the alternatives to extradition?
The best alternative to extradition is to seek release on a reasonable bond. If a judge agrees to a bond and releases someone facing extradition from custody, they can travel to the state with the pending warrant and self-surrender. The Extradition Team with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. can file a Motion for Bond and seek the prompt release of the inmate from custody.
What does waiver of extradition mean?
A waiver of extradition occurs when the individual in question agrees to waive their right to an extradition hearing and any other procedural protections afforded by the laws of that state or country. Refusing extradition may be a strategic component of a criminal defense strategy. Once the person waives their right to contest extradition, they can no longer seek release on bond.
Lawyers Who Get Bonds in Extradition Cases
The attorneys with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C., have an unparalleled track record of getting low bonds for clients arrested on out-of-state warrants. Unbelievably, other criminal defense attorneys believe that getting a reasonable bond is impossible. When these ineffective attorneys think something is impossible, we step up to help! Getting a bond is possible, and in fact, your loved one has a right to a reasonable bond. Call us for a free consultation. We will take the time to talk with you, answer your questions, and find a way to seek the release of your loved one.
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete an online Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.